November 19, 2013

Failed

Sunday last, I decided to fail. I don't remember ever doing that before. Failing, yes. But not actively deciding to.

It was the last day of coffeeneuring, and I needed a ride (a minimum of two miles) that involved a cup of coffee (or other beverage) in order to succeed at this year's challenge. Lulled by Saturday's sunshine, I had planned on picking my bike up from the shop and riding 30 miles or so in the valley. That would be long enough for me this time of year, and I would enjoy a hot beverage somewhere along the way, probably get lunch, too.

But Sunday wasn't Saturday, the sun was gone. At my home altitude the world was in the clouds. Lower, it was in the rain. Car headlights were on, windshield washers moving. I had no lights with me for the bike, though it had brand new tires and brakepads.

Not a day for a long ride. I considered the possibilities. Ride anyway? Drive a mile from the closest town with a good coffee shop, park the car, take out my bike with its new tires and brakepads, ride into town for a coffee and then back to the car? I didn't really want a coffee, or anything else to drink. That would fill the requirement for length, and suffice as a 7th ride, it would certainly be easy, it wasn't raining hard, it was warm enough. But.

But, the whole thing, the notion of parking the car, then riding simply with the goal of completion, just seemed so  very, v e r r y,  outside of the spirit of coffeeneuring. Totally and absolutely outside of the spirit of it. In the end, knowing it was the last chance, I decided to fail at this year's challenge. Maybe next year.

I leave you with two photos, scenes I passed on my ... drive, not ride.

The foreground reflections remain, the distant shore almost lost in the mist. 



Look carefully and you will see the resident kingfisher high in the tree on the right, with the ridge above it.

23 comments:

  1. Love the photo of the pond with reflections. Gorgeous. Thanks for the rides. Looking forward to next year.

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    1. The thanks go to you for reading and commenting ... I had a lot of fun with that photo.

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  2. Sounds like you had a similar feeling to mine when I was doing Bird A Day: When it started feeling like a job, I stopped. Let's face it--if you start questioning why you're doing something--and you're not getting paid--then stop doing it.

    Take care
    LZ

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    1. Yes, I think similar feeling, and a similar spirit at the core of the two challenges ... though yours was I think, more intrinsically difficult, because less limited. Good to hear from you!

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  3. It's okay to fail, as you say. When it stops being fun and more of a chore, why do it? I would've stopped for the same reason. Cycling is supposed to be fun. I lucked out this year and had great weather for all of my rides. I would still submit my entries to MG, if I were you. Be honest about ride #7. You deserve at least an honorable mention and A+ for photography. I love your imagery.

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    1. Thanks Annie! I appreciate your comments, and especially about the photos. Yes, I guess it was a feeling of a chore, but also it just felt silly ... that parking at a set distance, in order to meet the challenge, really had nothing to do with anything except "the letter of fhe law" for the challenge itself. As an aside, MG is doing an amazing job with this, I think!

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  4. Loved this post, splendid pictures.

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    1. High praise and very flattering from you especially, and thanks!

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  5. The pictures bring out the beauty of a day that too easily can get written off as bad weather. They reclaim the "failure": and turn the competitive mind to cross a different and more inwardly personal finish line. The pictures made me feel like I've been there.

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    1. Why thank you. It's good to sometimes hear your voice here. Somehow I think you probably have been there, at least the two specific locations.

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  6. You at least had the opportunity to take two first rate pictures as a consolation. As it is positively dangerous to cycle in the mist and clouds, I think that you made a top class decision. My excuses are often a lot less valid.

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    1. Hi Tootlepedal,

      I must admit, the two images were taken near my "home altitude" in the hills, the valley was not nearly so misty. ... it would have been safe enough, just felt goofy silly.

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  7. In my cycling circles, we call that a DNF (Did Not Finish) not a "Fail." I prefer that. There is no fail in getting out and riding, enjoying the ride and making good memories. Fail has bad connotations. A DNF is simply a reason to give it another go.

    Excellent photos and posts along the way. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi Iron Rider,

      Thank you ... yes, DNF crossed my mind when I wrote this, but somehow it then escaped my mind. I agree, truly I was a DNF. I guess it felt to me that finishing by means of driving a car to a short ride and drinking a perfunctory cup of coffee ... something that artificial would be manipulating the rules.

      Thanks for reading, commenting, and btw, I still imagine someday trying long rides. Kudos to you for randonneuring as well as coffeeneuring.

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  8. Rules were made to be broken, Suze. You're still good in my books!

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    1. Indeed, sometimes they are just that.

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  9. Des photos sans soleil sont parfois plus belles que celles baignées de lumière.
    Merci

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    1. Merci Double J! J'imagine que le Gardon serait magique dans un peu de brume.

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  10. Those pics are really nice. I mean pay-for-them-and-put-them-in-your-living-room nice. I wouldn't sweat the coffeeneuring. Just another great story and something to shoot for next year!

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    1. Hi Steve,

      Why thank you. That is very good to hear ... I had a lot of fun fiddling with my camera trying to get the images. And it's good to know that you are still out there!

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  11. Failing but from prior posts it seemed like you had fun trying and then declining when it was good to do so. For the record, that about sums up how I didn't finish the coffeeneuring challenge.

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  12. Thanks for reading, and taking the time to comment! Yes, that about sums it up for me, too. It would have been so easy .... but it seemed like a chore, which seemed so very not to the point.

    Now, I'm going to track back to your site, I'm glad to learn about it and don't remember being there, at least recently.

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    1. Thanks for writing.

      Having failed at coffeeneuring, both my boys want to ride to the coffee shop on Sunday, which will be fun, unless they change their minds (and we'd do something else). The weather looks good.

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