Racing Line - The Privateer Life

Mountain Biking Magazine



Racing Line – The Privateer Life

From Dirt Issue 113 – July 2011

Words by Evan Turpen. Photos by Matthew Delorme.

Going with the flow

For the last three weeks I have been travelling and racing 2,400 miles from home on the east coast of the U.S. As much as I hate to say it, the trip kicked my ass! I assumed I could just book a flight and let the rest of the logistical details sort themselves out once there. Man was I wrong. The experience was like trying to swim upstream through rapids. It wasn’t until the end of the trip that I finally gave in, turned around, and let the current take me downstream.

The last day of my trip, before my final race run at the U.S. Open, I chilled out and enjoyed a beer with Nick from Shimano’s race support. Talking with people seems to help calm my nerves and Nick is one chill dude, so it was great talking with him. That and a cold beer can’t hurt.

Life Cycles was playing in the Shimano pits and I was complimenting on how much I liked Cam and Brandon’s section as it played on the TV. It’s the part where they dirt jump through golden fields of wheat. It’s simply amazing. The filming, editing, and music selection still gives me the chills. I couldn’t quite put my thumb on it, but it seemed to have some greater meaning. It wasn’t just a bike video.

During our conversation Nick pointed out that Life Cycles was full of Buddhist references. Something which I hadn’t noticed until then (mostly because I don’t know anything about Buddhism). He talked most about the reference of life being like a river. Crazy and rapid at times, but can also be calm, slow, and straight too. He said that life should be looked at as the view of a river from an airplane. Through the rough and the smooth it keeps moving forwards, but never stays the same.

Now I’m not a religious guy, but this analogy really hit home with me. I looked at my trip from this new perspective and it made me feel good about what the future may hold. It started off so bad with mud, crashes, and disappointing results, but steadily got better throughout. I just didn’t see it because I was too occupied fighting the current (something that’s so easy to do). So when life throws you into the rapids, remember that you can either fight it, or go with the flow. Knowing what I know now, I choose the latter.


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