Real life isn't an artfully curated photo roll of all of your perfect moments and nor is it for the people we follow on Instagram.
We don't expose our dreary, monotonous commutes on the bus or train to the world. Our pictures can't capture the skip of a heart beat when a car door opens into the bike lane in front of us. Our mechanical accomplishments on the work-stand don't reveal hours of hand staining toil and broken chains and bent derailleurs. The view from the saddle atop the Blue Ridge collects a lot more 'likes' than the 45 hours of views of our computer screen from our office chairs ever could. Our 'discussions' with significant others about how many bikes are too many bikes don't fit nicely into 120 characters, and you can't feel what it's like to have numb feet for 25 miles in the pictures of my 5 day bicycle tour.
We aren't going to try and sell you on some magical life of two wheeled adventure that awaits you...if only you were just cool enough to reach out and grab it. We aren't Deuxnorth with our camera crews, support vans, pro mechanics, and $8k dollar manufacturer supplied Specialized bicycles. (Ha. Yet ;) -Ed.) We don't drop thousands of other people's dollars on an internet video and have the audacity to ask you people to fill out a webform and "get involved."
That's not real life for any of us or most anyone who might read this.
I was having a chat with my work group at my job (you know that place we all have to go to make money and pay our rent and buy bikes and beer etc) and we were talking about how depressing following people on instagram/facebook/blogs can be. Depressing? Yeah, depressing. Everyone always looks like they are having more fun than you, everyone looks like they are doing cooler things thank you, everyone looks happier, eats healthier, adventures more, vacations better. It begs, pleads, the question, why can't I live like that. But it's also a lie. At least 99% of the time the reality you see on social media isn't a reality at all. It's the ultimate selection bias, the most perfectly refined cherry picking.
To paraphrase the manifest-uh-oh: "We believe in eskaping..."
Let's break that down: Our lives can be boring, monotonous, frustrating, and even painful. That's just how life is sometimes. It's not about that though. It's about seizing any and all of the opportunities we have to break out of the normal and do something awesome and extra-ordinary. It's about embracing the suck and letting it motivate us to get the most out of every moment, regardless of if that moment is a 15-hour overnight blast down a deserted stretch of tow path or 15 seconds ripping that tiny section of dirt path you managed to incorporate into your bicycle commute.
We don't have the time, means, or ability to pursue the magical life of adventure people and brands portray on the internet, because we have bills and shit, but the seconds, minutes, hours, and sometimes even days or weeks of stoke are lurking around each corner: go after them.