i feel like over the last 6 months or so ive gone into abnormally deep depths relating to the chaos epoch and what that is, seems and was without going into any real detail about what was actually producing the chaos and in a rare moment of introspection-retention i don’t plan on divulging much of it at great depths in log entries that I make public here, albeit having pondered and even explicitly mentioned all of the things already. some of these things aren’t purely jacob-related so they’ll remain specters of the real world. one aspect that i will rant, have ranted and will continue to do so is in relation to an overuse injury i gave myself last year from ‘riding forever’. there are a handful more trips i plan to recount on here, infact only the very first one I have posted about, a scenario born from two things: figuring out how i want to lay them out, are they simple log entries? thinking about that obviously drops me into the cavernous qualms that are website iterations and the life long fight I’m able and willing to endure against the general display of my work. the other thing is i gotta find and edit photos which isn’t something i’ve got a bunch of time for, especially since my content is strewn across continents and i’ve completely dumped apple and most of my drives aren’t stoked with windows but thankfully there is a slight marriage in the cloud.
to return to specificity for once: the injury and [mostly] it’s effect – perhaps the height of profundity in my life so far, height not simply in the sense of up (or the elevations i was riding), but in the variance between low and high, all of which were levels i’d not sampled for years/maybe ever. even now, 219 days since the last time i consider myself ‘riding forever‘, just thinking about that period and the emotions is extremely intense, but they’re extreme in both bliss and tears, simultaneously and equally yet incomparably. i’d found and was reveling in what will always be one of my most adored things ever (riding forever) whilst struggling to come to terms with losing one of the things i’d adored most (mary) – also work sucked and working from home solo sucked, the weather sucked, it was a suckfest. the over-raching situation, and perhaps lead up, was basically (and well before the race): bikepacking myself into utter bliss during a time where everything around and inside me was a huge challenge. i still cant fathom it, here was this thing i’d done before and loved because it combined some of my greatest loves: solitude, immersion, adventure and physicality – but somehow this time around, the merging of those things, and the times combined to induce more bliss than i’d felt probably ever – a new type of bliss perhaps, in a practically blissless epoch. I think what evolved bikepacking for me in that early rediscovery was it was the first solo trip i’d done. not only were my qualms left at the door of my apartment, i found calm and contentendess in each of the roughly 30,000 pedal strokes id make that weekend, healing with each one.
this immense joy quickly lead to complete and utter devotion and 5 days later my life became: leave saturday before the sun came up, ride all day (sometimes night), camp, ride, be home sunday night, enter corpse mode monday, begin my resurrection on tuesday, complete the resurrection by wednesday, start planning the next route thursday, on friday i’d source my food, finish my route and pack my bike then saturday id be off again before the sun came up. i’d get at least 4.5 days a week where the reality of my place in life and the world and it’s qualms were what they truly are: distant figments of my imagination, products of comparison and concerned by assumptions based on notions produced by reckless synapses & my general and constant state of physical and emotional exhaustion. once i started to return to what is probably considered reality each week i had little time to plan and prepare for the next ride so the focus on getting those things right was so high that those brain-based qualms weren’t able to infect my general mental prose. the best addiction i’ve ever had, but may have paid the highest price (my knees). this little tool (my bike) was both a vessel to explore the world in a deeper, slower and more immersive manner than all of the van/car-touring i’ve done, but also my life support. mostly i was never that far away from the real world thanks to my sattelite communicator, but the faith and confidence i had in this vehicle transformed it into something existing on a plane different to my own/this one (reality), but also existing completely in our own realm together – it was just it and me out there. it was not a bike specifically (i rode 2 during this period), just ‘the bike’ as a collective entity that spans models – it’s a reiterative being and probably the most beautilitarian thing that ive ever witnessed.
buntzen lake, bc, canada.
so devoted i became that the constant agony my body was in was a tiny price to pay, in 2022 so far i’d been paying what i felt were substantially higher prices for very little/no reward comparatively. a bit of muscle pain never hurt anyone. what i didn’t realise was the extreme increase in physical load was tearing my quad and patellar tendons, but given that they were deep within the general zone of agony (legs) i was mostly ignoring i was unaware of the specific injury i was inducing. as i got stronger and starting doing longer routes and with more climbing, the power output/strain on my tendons/ligaments was increasing immensely but i supported that change with the gearing on my bike, only compounding the tearing that was already happening from sheer use with the increase in output/resistance. after the NCW race, where we climbed to the height of everest in <2 days of riding on my road bike gears, i recall driving back to vancouver and my knees were stinging, i tried to sleep in my car and i couldn’t stop squirming for the knee pain. i took 10 days off and did one more ride, a stupid fkn climb, and from that point on – for the next ~2 months – my knees throbbed around the clock. i remember mentioning it to someone thinking it had only happened after but id been complaining for weeks (even writing about it) so clearly i was in denial.
southport seaway, im back close by, and back into the water, its bringing me back <3
there i was, grappling with extreme physical distress while trying to manage the immense mental trauma that came with no longer being able to indulge in this thing that fixed all of my problems, which opened the door to all of the qualms i’d been using riding to help depart from in order to process my existence more abstractly. as time went on and the injury didn’t get better i had to start coming to terms with what my physio and counseller were suggesting about the possibility that i may never recover to the point of being able to ride like that again. as i write i feel like i sound overdramatic, but i am being fkn dramatic, it was and still is the most drama i’ve had to contend with and it had nothing to do with anyone other than me and my self – except not all was purely jacob-related as there was the deep distress i was feeling from parting with mary and a life somewhat planned out. living on my own, working from home, being the most isolated ive ever felt and the life/mary situation were just side traumas to the riding moratorium. i was exploring new depths of intrigue, a place of distress like none i’d experienced before. life and the path i figured they should take ceased to matter. the place i was in became something to simply leave behind, there was nothing there expect trauma (and some lessons on how to ride further, fk yeh).
but in great news im back-ish. its been exactly 7 months since the injury and i still can’t ride more than 1.5hrs without pain in the following days, not the 17 hours i was doing comfortably. im riding every day, twice, just a lil, and doing other things, once a week i ride a bit further to see how it feels, just last week i did 30, had breakfast with a pal, did another 30km and felt okay the next day.. so im getting there on the bike front. my physio trains pros and has lived my scenario so im in good hands. on the life front i: quit my job, moved to australia and although i still feel like the path that once existed is completely obliterated to the point i see it valueless, i am once again thoroughly stoked. perhaps it was said obliteration that has freed me from the shackles of shiiiiit i was in, maybe the riding was an escape and the injury the return, maybe i’ll one day again ride my bike forever and maybe i wont. all i know is the shit that IS the chaos epoch was a fkn huge ride on and off the bike, it certainly marks one of the most important epochal transitions of my life. i’ve used and spoke of the epoch approach to cataloguing periods of my adult life and in the past i’ve often used it for minor things, and although they’re all valid, there are 2 that are complete and utter transitions – these don’t happen in one day/instant etc, they’re only really visible in hindsight. the funny thing is the first one, and whats looking like the second one, both include a break up. im not nessecarily suggesting that the break ups cause the transition, im not suggesting anything really, i rarely do on here, im just considering relations – its just as likely that the break up is a product of the epochal exchange, not a cause. in reality i think that is more all part and parcel. who the fk knows, im the only one that ‘can’ and obviously i have no idea, i just wrote a thousand plus words laying down everything i know about it an now know less. all i know for sure is 📈. this thing i just mentioned isn’t a revelation, its just becoming something im more intrigued about because the things i wrote about in the last rant.