Monday, 28 February 2011

So you wanna be a gunslinger?

I was an aspiring young bike rider once, believe it or not. It is strange to look back and think about some of the things that I did on the road to becoming a professional bike rider.

There are no guaranteed paths to success; there is nothing specific you can do – apart from hard work I suppose. Each and every Pro-rider I know found their way into the peleton in a different way; different training, different methods, different successes and different failures.

One thing was consistent though; each and every single young man I know and knew (even the young man that was myself) that has made it to the paid ranks, at some stage took a chance, because they really wanted it.

The chances taken were all different, it might have been as simple as going in a break that somehow paid off, it might have been moving to a country where they didn’t speak the language knew not a soul. It might have been leaving behind that girl that just wasn’t right.

Anyway, the other day I was sat in a bookshop with my girlfriend, leafing through some poetry books trying to find a suitable poem for her to read at her friends wedding. I of course had managed to find the least useful book on the shelf (it had a poem titled – ‘to the whore who stole my poems’, intriguing- but not matrimony material).

It was of course a book of the poems of Charles Bukowski, and I was taken by some of the material. So much so that I went straight up and purchased the book – despite my girlfriends derision (neither of us actually like poetry).

Then when I got home, I found the following, and it’s just brilliant. So I had to find a way to make it relevant and sneak it into my blog, and well – I just did.

For anyone who is aspiring, or even ever aspired, ‘all the way, all the way’:

Roll the Dice

by Charles Bukowski

if you’re going to try, go all the


otherwise, don’t even start.

if you’re going to try, go all the

way. this could mean losing girlfriends,

wives, relatives, jobs and

maybe your mind.

go all the way.

it could mean not eating for 3 or

4 days.

it could mean freezing on a

park bench.

it could mean jail,

it could mean derision,



isolation is the gift,

all the others are a test of your

endurance, of

how much you really want to

do it.

and you’ll do it

despite rejection and the

worst odds

and it will be better than

anything else

you can imagine.

if you’re going to try,

go all the way.

there is no other feeling like


you will be alone with the


and the nights will flame with


do it, do it, do it.

do it.

all the way

all the way.

you will ride life straight to

perfect laughter,

it’s the only good fight

there is.