Ego relies on a certain push and pull to exist. It’s not a static entity. It needs to be edged by uncertainty on one side, confidence on the other. Triumph and tribulation, peaks and valleys, all that. Maybe it’s like a blip on a radar — ego only exists as something passes over it to prove its existence. Or maybe it’s like a bump under your skin. You only notice it when you come into contact with it.
Riding is certainly a nonstop trial of ego. Too little and the bike is just pulling you around. You’re going to have a bad time. Too much and you’re going to underestimate the fact that the bike is mostly pulling you around and you’re the flappy meatbag making things harder for it. And you’re going to have a bad time. So you have to work on stroking the ego’s fur in both directions so it stands up just right.
And there’s no surer way to send ego retreating back to its den, tail between its legs, sodden and diminished, than to go riding in the rain. Especially on the wrong tires.
We arrived at Thunder Hill in time to unpack and hang around a bit before nightfall. Someone said, “It’s definitely going to rain tomorrow.”
Smash cut to Charlie and Bravo in the back of the van at 4AM, watching torrents of rainwater rush down the windows. Outside, rivers of overflow flooded the paddock. Everything concave was a pool. Big, cold drops panged hard against the tin roof of the van. Our outdoor carpet started to float downstream.
Don’t picture thunder though. There was no thunder at Thunder Hill.