Well, I mean, after as hard as that was, there's no way that this difficult trail can really be that much harder, right?"
"You know, I'm right there. I'll just go until it looks like it might be dangerous, then turn back."
"How many people can there really be at a pro cycling event?"
These are just a small sample at the number of ignorant, stupid things I said to myself in my first week researching this column series. In the process, I've seen incredible vistas, seen fauna I never knew existed, witnessed the incredible passion Coloradans have for cycling and fitness in general, and marveled at their ability to kick the ass of nature and its challenges. And I haven't even reached far enough to claw at the air that surrounds the surface. I've got an ocean of knowledge to delve into so vast it seems inconceivable (and that word does mean what I think it means), and a lot more aches and pains to go through. But before we get to my first, ignorant and rather foolish adventures, let's get caught up on who I am and why I'm here.
I was born in Kansas City, raised in Arkansas, went to school in Missouri and worked my first jobs in Austin, Texas. This is my first time outside of the Central Time Zone, and let me tell you how weird all of you are. When football is starting at 11 a.m. you need to not be around me because I'll be in a state of culture shock that could put me in a hospital. My brother has lived in Denver off-and-on for twenty years, and my parents spent a good eight years in Colorado Springs. But during that time, I never got out to see them much, and when I did, I certainly rarely ever graced the wild outdoors.
See, when I became old enough to be set loose independently, my goals were never centered around the outside world, but those found in movies, music, and fiction. I never identified myself as an outdoors person. I was never into it as a kid, too shy and insecure to be bold.
The result is that I've never been an outdoors guy. But in Austin, I discovered that you can be any kind of person you want if you put your time and soul into it, even if you're not very good at it. I also learned that you need to take full advantage when you visit or move somewhere, because it's your duty to experience as much on this planet as you can with the time you're given.
So when my wife and I decided to relocate to Loveland, Colo., for her school and my work, I decided I was going to give the Rockies a try, do things I'd never identified with my self-concept before.
Then, as luck would have it, when I offered my services to SB Nation Denver, Russ had an idea. A column on what it was like to experience the Denver outdoors sports scene. Because y'all LOVE the outdoors here. I jumped at the chance, and here we are.
What's in this for you? Well, you'll probably hear about some things you may not have before. And you'll get to remember what it was like the first time you did various things. But the real bonus here? Though I'm seeking out as much experienced advise as I can in all these expeditions, I'm still completely new at this and completely out of my element. So there's a very good chance I'm going to damage myself in various ways.
Hence, "The Break-My-Neck" Tour. I'll bring you advice from people who know what the hell they're doing. And at the same time, you get to read about a moron slamming his head into the proverbial mountain. Good times all-around. I hope you'll enjoy it, I'm looking forward to it.