Sunday, 22 September 2013

I'm a digital girl in a digital world.

I'm very lucky, you know. My girlfriend and I argue over which of us is the luckiest girl in the world.  It's me, because somehow I always have everything I need, even when I can't actually see it at the time.  For the last few years I was convinced I was enjoying the only love relationship I would ever desire. I was very happy, happier than ever befpre.  He found me on Plenty of Fish, and he went out of his way to win my love.  I mean, come on. He cycled a solid two and a half hours from his place near False Creek to my place in White Rock every single chance I gave him.  How romantic is THAT?  Over time he became a dear and trusted friend and when we became lovers it turned into something wonderful, something rare and beautiful. Or so I thought. 

His plan worked, anyway. I fell for him hook, line, and sinker. I was surprised- shocked- to discover a few months ago that we are in fact walking separate paths, with each of us wanting different things from our partners and our lives, and in the end I had no choice but to draw a line in the sand,

and then release him, to return us both to that great big sea of single fish. 

No, that's not the lucky bit, though luck is very tricky in that sense.  Sometimes it seems terrible when it first hits you, but then looking back on it later, what started out feeling terrible is often, in fact, the key to a great stroke of good fortune.

That's my operating theory, anyway, because it feels better than sinking into a pit of despair.

I set up a new PoF account because I want to meet new friends and have some fun... 

and because a wise man once told me that the best way to get over a broken heart
 is the company of someone new.

Knock and the door shall be opened unto you, seek and ye shall find. When the student is ready the teacher will appear, etcetera. Earlier this spring, I also put it out there that I want to be a better cyclist than I am, and what do you know? I've made a few awesome friends through PoF, great guys like Lido Crema.

That's him on the left, in 2009

Lido is an unfailingly kind, professional cyclist who displays a remarkable degree of tolerance and open-mindedness, bless him, and patience, too.  Especially patience. I still suck at hills. He's an icing-on-the-cake kind of guy, cause he's got it all going on, and the cherry on top is his willingness to share his expertise.

 Lido's dad, Franco Crema, raced for the Italian national team before he emigrated to Vancouver, and he raised his boy to race, too, so Lido has literally been racing for forty years. His last name, Crema, means soft.  He is a softy, it's true, 

(that's my tire he's changing)

but he's seriously fit, he knows what he's doing, and when he feels like pushing me, it takes everything I have to hold his wheel.  And sometimes I just can't.  What's worse, I love it. When I ride with him I ride harder, farther, and faster than I do alone.  I should be singing hallelujah, because again I have exactly what I need, but it scares me a little. Why?  Because it brings to light yet another character flaw of mine: masochism. 

Who else but a masochist would love nothing more than a punishing ride?

Life is all about the experience.  That's why it's so important to do the things you love. Until August, when Lido had to go back to work, we rode together several times a week, but these days that only happens occasionally.  I'm always happy to ride alone, but when I do, it's never as hard, far or fast as I ride with Lido.  He won't even put his kit on for a ride shorter than 100 km, but I need to ride almost every day, whether or not I have a few hours to spare.  I like to hop on my bike whenever I can grab an hour of time any time a sucker-hole appears in the clouds. It always helps me feel better, whatever is on my mind.

That's why it's my happy place.

Sometimes when I'm cruising along and my cadence is at that sweet spot where you can spin a heavy gear fast and not feel it, and when I can sustain it for a while I find my mind enters into a peculiar state of clarity which is hard to find any other way, and when I get to that place, everything is better, brighter somehow, and often answers appear then, and truths.  I love that magical feeling of flying through space and time,  riding as fast as I can.  It's home to my soul.  
That's why I want to be the best possible me.

And speaking of the best,
there is one man here in Vancouver, a man named Paul Cross, who is renowned for improving endurance athletes' performance.  A woman I know scrubbed an hour and a half off her Gran Fondo time after training with him for one season, and I fully intend to make use of his services over the winter, but I'm a social creature, and I ride much better when I have a strong rider to help me set a faster pace.  I do sometimes find other cyclists to ride with when I'm on the road, but there are fewer and fewer die-hards like me out there now as the days get progressively shorter, wetter and colder.

So what's a girl to do?

I thought about PoF, and how I've met so many cool guys there over the years, and I thought about blogging and Twitter and Linked In and Facebook and how so much of my life is online, and how well it works sometimes, and then it struck me.


It's perfect.  I have inspiration to do my best, and it's a social network where I can get to know people cycling here in my city.  Now I'm that girl, the Strava-douche doing her best to beat her own personal record, and maybe win a stupid little Queen of the Mountain emblem on my profile.

And I'm not even a little bit sorry.   

So you see what I mean about being the luckiest girl in the world now, right?  Somehow I always have absolutely everything I need, even though I may not be aware of it at the time.  Maybe I needed a bit of heartbreak to make me a better, more empathetic person in the long run, who knows?  The fish I threw back in the pond is absolutely the best ex-man a girl could hope for.  He generously offered up his time to help with photos for this blog all summer long, but love is a drug and I need to kick the habit of him somehow, so to heal my heart I'm going cold turkey for a bit.

Spokenscene needs a better photographer than me, though, and so I also hope to find a new friend and photographer who likes to ride bikes. Till then, you'll be seeing a lot of nasty selfies, like this:

River Rd, Richmond- the ride that wasn't
I am sorry 'bout your luck.  
If you know anyone who is passionate about the bike path to world peace,
someone with an eye for a good photograph who might be inclined to help with the mission,
 please send them my way, mmmkay?


Oh yeah, and one more thing.

  Don't you love that it's a digital world? I do. Seriously.  It works for me. And I am the luckiest girl ever, cause I always have everything I need right here with me, myself, and these here happy digits.  As much as I have a strong and healthy sex drive, I do not need casual hook-ups, and as much as I love well-written eroticism, I don't actually need endless e-mails detailing all the ways you are planning to pleasure me.  Penthouse's Forum might like them, though, so if writing that kind of thing is your cup of tea, then by all means knock your socks off.   Personally, I'm happy in my own skin, left to my own devices. I would rather let my fingers do the walking any day than kiss and cuddle someone I don't love at least a little.

Just sayin', is all.

Thank you for reading!
xo xo


  1. I love the positive outlook you're able to keep, Babble. It's all about mind over matter, if you don't mind, it don't matter. Then even if you do mind, a punishing ride can make it not matter as much, right? Perhaps not masochistic...but a fighter. Once that Queen of The Mountain badge is earned, that will be a sweet, sweet victory, right? It helps to win when you're down.

    Funny the way things work, sometimes. Just when you stop looking for something and are just fine without it, is when YOU will be found and swept up. That's been my experience, anyway.

    Sending my best thoughts and positive energies your way, all the way to Vancouver. I hope you get them.


  2. Babble, you don't become a Strava douche until you won't stop or slow down for your or other's safety. I see Crema stopped and changed your tire for you.

    Crema is also the delicious foam on top of a good espresso.

    1. Yes, he did, he has impeccable manners.

      I am a danger to myself every time I get out of bed.

      I try to be courteous on the road. If a driver is kind or courteous I nod and/or flash a peace sign to say thanks. I do yield to pedestrians, and I signal, unless it's treacherous to do so. I stay visible and predictable, but I like to go really fast and I don't like to slow down if I don't have to.

  3. ...i do so hope my tender endearments (sloppy salaciousness) aren't those of a nature you find offensive (now i'm being defensive) 'cuz whist being concerned about my nature (who, me ???) i usually try to be a little subdued (like a brick to the forehead) & creative (crayons, paste & dull scissors) in offering my tributes to your "spoke 'n' scene"...
    ...much love, luv...
    ...& a bouquet of respect,

  4. ...btw...would you say your riding as of late is turning you into an elegant, finely tuned instrument, like a violin --------------- perhaps a 'strava-various' ???...

    ...sheesh...see ???...this kind of humor is why they only let me play with 'crayons, paste & dull scissors'...
    ...just sayin'...

    1. :D Strava-various... heh heh.

      Nah, not you. I enjoy your messages. Did I mention a weakness for anything with even a modicum of literary worth? Something to do with my own far-fetched aspirations. I always try to surround myself with people who are smarter than me (not that it takes much), in the hope that something rubs off .

      And never mind that... years of listening to CBC Radio has left my brain particularly vulnerable to clever little puns.

      You, sir, always bring a smile to my face. Thank-you. xo

    2. ...absolutely mutual, my friend...

      ...anyway, just sailing along down here, wind at my back, sun in my face, oft times a tempest in my own teapot, on occasion, an oracle but as long as i don't rub you the wrong way.........

  5. A couple of things come to mind, I wish I was in Vancouver and not Sydney so I could put my Canon 5D at your disposal (and no that's not a euphemism) and two, make sure Anthony Weiner doesn't read this or you won't just get words sent to you !

    1. What a FABULOUS idea, though! Please please pretty please DO feel free to send photos of the things you see riding along in Sydney, kk? I've not been and always wanted to see Austrailia.

    2. Hi Babs, you might want to have a look at my blog, lots of pictures, not much travelogue, lots of sporting Freds, There are bikes, naturally, wheelchair basketball, marathon runners and coming up touch football and maybe hockey

  6. I have enjoyed your blog for a long while but this is my first comment: "Personally, I'm happy in my own skin, left to my own devices. I would rather let my fingers do the walking any day than kiss and cuddle someone I don't love at least a little." I'm another woman who feels the same way. It's something that some men find hard to understand. All power to you. Don't settle for any less than you desire and deserve. x

    1. Oh! How very kind of you, bless your heart. :)
      Thank you. xo

    2. They say men fall in love with the person they're having sex with and women have sex with the person they love. It's a good thing it's easy to fall in love, or we'd have been doomed from the outset.

      I haven't always felt this way, and I can't say for sure I always will, but it is what it is and I like it.