Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday writings for Randos - True Alpinists

{Friday Writings for Randos - A weekly post that features pieces from other writers that touch some facet of the Randonneuring experience, even if that was not the author's intent. It's stuff that's best read out loud - slowly.} This week it's:.

An excerpt from 
The Rider 
by Tim Krabbe

I've found a cadence. Another twelve kilometers to Camprieu.
We are wet, cold and dirty. Pick someone at random and put them on a bicycle here, front wheel pointing in the direction of Camprieu and ten to one they'll dismount and go looking for shelter in the nearest farmhouse. Why are we riding on? If you ask an alpinist why he climbs a mountain he'll reply: "because its there."

As far as I know, no one ever pointed out what nonsense that is. The alpinist's will isn't prompted by the mountain, it's there even without a mountain. The alpinist's will is not so petty that it needs something as random as the shape of the earth's crust in order to exist. Even if the earth were as flat as a billiard ball, there would still be alpinists: the true alpinists. The true alpinist would actually be ashamed to have his will molded by things of an order as low as the mountains. So only one question could rightly be asked of the true alpinist: why do you never climb mountains?


  1. THE RIDER is the best novel about a bicyclist that I've read, and this is a nice selection. I've started looking forward to Fridays.

  2. Don't know the book, will have to take a look for it. Thanks!