my 52nd Birthday Morning;  perched upon a great Time Trial bike loaned to me by a friend/fan/student ready to throw down a podium gaining performance in one of my stronger cycling disciplines…well…sorry…birthday or not?  the WF Deities saw it fit to humble ilg once again on what it truly means to be a Spiritual Athlete….

my Buddhi Mind told my Lower Mind, “You best not publish that Dharma Teaching on Faith and Doubt just before the final Day of racing at Iron Horse, you KNOW how the Higher Ones all-Ways test your sincerity in walking your talk!”

Shoulda listened to my Higher Self, yet, again…feeble yogi ilg did not.

if you read my Dharma Teaching?  you’re laughing your brains out at the expense of my lactic acid freaked out legs right now…yup.   See, when you first sign up for the Advanced Course in Spiritual Training as feeble did, about 3.5 decades ago?  you can’t Realize at that particular Level of the Journey Entry, just how deep the Cosmic Humor of Shiva can Dance upon your perceptions of what you ‘think’ the Spiritual Journey is all about.   Here is what happened to my final day of hardcore bicycle racing at the Iron Horse…you’re not gonna believe this…

Day 3 0f 3 at the Iron Horse Bicycle Omnium
setting: i wake up knowing that i am closing in on 5th place from over 50 elite, cycling-specific racers just two days ago.  With a clean, hard effort in one of my stronger cycling disciplines;  Time Trialing (aka; the Race of Truth…just the cyclist against the stopwatch and the terrain/wind/road…no drafting, no peleton,  each rider goes off in 30 second to 2-minute intervals and does his or her solo best against the clock)?  i could actually podium which would be INCREDIBLE against such a vast field of sport-specific cyclists riding waaaay more expensive machines than my outdated bucket o’ bolts pony with the Chi that never stops giving;  “Vajrapani” (my old carbon fiber frame blended with cycle cross components).  Ilg has been going hard since last September, won i got 2nd in the DWC Cycling Championships then followed it up with my winter racing season which netted 11 out of 12 possible podiums in 7 different sports with a new Course Record.   ilg needs a rest from high intensity.

yet, on this morning,  the morning of my 52nd chronological year upon this plane(t)?  ilg was ready and raring to fight.

However,  due to my paltry income as a yoga teacher,  ilg does not have adequate, even safe, bicycle racing bikes…in fact, ilg does not even have a Time Trial bike and the one that was promised to me for this day was sold and given to someone else without my knowing…so, at the last moment, last night,  ilg called my dharma brother, Andrew, “Can i borrow your Time Trial bike for tomorrow?  i am somehow in contention for the Ominium Podium,”

Once again, Andrew stepped up…loaned me his TT bike plus his Aero helmet.

Today;  5:15am

wake up and immediately am graced by a rapid bowel movement (thank you, Bodyhealth Intestinal Cleanse!)…into my Neti, Nadi Shodhana, and abbreviated pre-race asana/pranayama/meditation ritual (abbreviated for ilg at this point is 20-minutes).   as a broken back survivor/thriver?  ilg CANNOT begin ANY day without an Early Morning Ritual…

feeling the chi…yet, knowing i have to set up much taller than ilg Andrews bike to fit me,  i dive into mechanical setup for the Time Trial, wishing beyond wishes, that i was still a solo, sponsored yogi with mechanics to do my work, not the aging with no money Daddy of a 5 year-Rinpoche that must wrench all my archaic bikes myself…

finally, i get Andrews TT bike to almost fit my cleat/pedal and height adjustments…countdown to start time is less than an hour…must eat sOMething…i drink Tailwind and have a PowerBar…then, test again my setup…


my official start time is 8:50am…i leave my casa on my TT bike (see pic above) stoked and happy and ready to rip it! pedaling up to the Start Line of the TT which is about 2 perfect warm up miles to myself,  ilg is soooo sacredly happy…i’ve got a fast bike, aero helmet, closing in on a hec of precious podium against the predictable sport-specifics and ilg is just totally, totally stoked to do what born Warriors love to do most on their birthdays:  suffer!

then, during my warm up with less than 20 minutes before my start time?   CHUG, AGUG, AAAARACK, CHUNCH CHICK!!!!

“oh, no big deal,” i tell myself,  “the chain just slipped,”

the chain did not just slip.  for the next 8 precious minutes i attempted to unjam a frozen rear gear changer…i wiped my greasy hands on my precious skinsuit…my fancy aero helmet kept slipping like unworked karma across my eyes, nothing worked, the pedals would not turn.  as the whirring wind generated from $10k TT bikes warming up around ilg breezed by me,  i kick scooted my now defunct TT bike to the Start Line,

“Excuse me,  i’m bib #1048,  i need a later Start Time, my rear derailuer just combusted,”

essentially, the Official Reply was, “Sorry, however, if you miss your Start Time, you will DNS (Did Not Start)”

i flash on my recent Blog Teaching about Faith and Doubt…i Began Again…and kick scooted my fancy TT bike in my fancy helmet .5k down the road, then walked it, with the Mantra, up the 500 meter hill upon which i have won so many Club Ride final sprints (ironic, isn’t it, the Humor of our Divine Teachers?), then finally to the mile long downhill which leads to the Animas River where i coast and kick my fancy bike across the Sacred River, then cut immediately left, skateboarding my bike to my house where Joy and Dewa were just leaving to drive up to the Finish to meet me,

“RED ALERT,  I NEED MY ROAD BIKE!!” i heaved as i skated kicked my fancy TT bike into the backyard…Joy, a Marine’s daughter, actually performs best under pressure…

“Don’t worry, we’ve got 4 minutes until your Start,  we’ll get you there!”

What my precious One did not realize is that i had to change back the pedals and do a few mechanical things to my road bike to make it even FEASIBLE to still do the time trial…

in the end?

my Girls got ilg to the Start Line…the officials did not adjust my Start Time and also screwed up my crit points from Sundays effort, i raced as hard as i possibly could against the $10k machines during today’s Time Trial, and suffered like a 3-legged dog out on the course and predictably,  fell out of podium contention and

you know what?


i went to the visiting Carnival in town with my two Girls and…

it all…

was okay to lose a Podium

on my Birthday…

because,  i applied the WF Teachings to a situation where most would have just given up…yet,

ilg was willing to walk his bike home, change bikes, and still show up to the Start Line without warm up, without fancy equipment and still do what Warriors do throughout our countless lives until Enlightenment:

just keep a’goin and never Give Up…

may my humble efforts at this years Iron Horse Bicycle Classic Ominium  meet your standard of inspiration and may my attempts at recording in visual and textual ways my paltry efforts (with my family) inspire you to sacredly sweat this week..

head bowed,

spirit vowed,

your feeble Teacher of Nothing

6 Responses to “Iron Horse Bicycle Classic; Day 3 of 3…whereupon a mechanical turns spiritual…”

  1. Leferisen John says:

    Never give up!!

  2. coach says:

    Warrior Leaf,
    for at our Level of Awareness, we have not yet Realized our Interactive cOMpanions along the High Red (and all other) Ways…

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  3. Kit Johaneson says:

    You are the man and as usual walking the talk or should I say biking the talk.
    You never stop amazing me.

  4. coach says:

    Precious Fit!

    ditto, kiddo!

    love and Walking The Higher Way,
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  5. Rick Strong says:

    Incredible. This teaching says it all. In the race/jurney; a random dragon appears/fouls the chain; another dragon (the official) is deaf and nasty; intrepid warrior (Ilg) somehow makes it home; the family rallies around and returns Ilg to the fray; ilg finishes the race on a plane above any podium and gets back to the true business of his special day by being present and engaged with his beautiful family/unbowed and proud.

  6. coach says:

    Most Precious Warrior of the Divine Christ Light Rick,

    ilg learns from and is inspired to just Stay The Path, like MahaYogi JC, and you…

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