Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Neon Poetry Day 2: The Roadies With Less Travel

The MS Bike Tour consists of road cycling, and it’s awesome. There are hills and valleys, there’s beautiful scenery, and there are glorious rest stops with bowls of fruit. But for most of the year I’m a mountain biker, shlumphing over rocks and roots, getting flat tires, and running into trees. Therefore, you’ll excuse me if today’s poem is about mountain cycling.

I should explain for the uninitiated that “travel” is the amount of squishiness you have in your bicycle’s suspension forks. Mountain bikers always need to know how much travel you have. It really matters to them. If you say you don’t know, they'll be very, very sad.

A traditional mountain biker greeting is, “Whad’ya got there? About four inches of travel?”  To a mountain biker, your bike is like the game where you have to guess how many jelly beans are in the jar: “What gear ratio is that? 36 x16? I thought so. What’s your bar width? 740mm? I could tell.” And so on. If they guess all your specs correctly, you have to give them your bike.

For today’s poem, I should apologize to Robert Frost. Although, if mountain biking had been invented when he was poemizing, I’m sure he would have catching air on the drops and writing poems with titles like “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening to Show my Neighbour my Sick Edits.” He would have preferred baggy shorts to spandex, for sure.

Remember, I need your help to raise money for the MS Bike tour by next week, July 26th and 27th. As of today, I’ve raised $0. I’ve got miles to go before I sleep, so please consider donating here. Thanks!

On with today’s poem:

The Roadies With Less Travel

From roadies I diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry they did not have enough travel
Or one squishy fork between them, long I stood
And looked down the singletrack far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 

I took the flowy trail, just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was rocky and wanted wear,
Though as for that the riders there
Had shredded on them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no leafblower had blown black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day! 
Yet knowing how life gets in the way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
On some group ride ages hence:
From roadies I diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the singletrack less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.