I’m on a plane about to land in Colorado to spend a few weeks in Boulder. Even after all my travels I keep coming back. It is a place that I love. A place where my heart is. A place, well, that I will never be the best at anything I do.
I had a realization while talking about Boulder to someone in Estonia. In this town, you are always second place. You will never find something that you are the best at. It is the golden rule for me, in often hilarious ways.
Perhaps a story will help.
In 2006 when I had just moved to Boulder I learned how to ride a unicycle. On a Saturday morning in the summer I rode it over a mile to the local Farmers Market. On parking it (who would steal a unicycle) a guy stopped me and asked if I had ridden that down. “Yeah! Over a mile!”
“Yeah man, you take that on any off road trails? I’d love to take mine up Flagstaff.”
I looked down at the guy’s shirt. It read “Moab International Off Road Unicycling Championship.” There was an outline of someone doing a 10 foot cliff drop on a unicycle. My jaw was gasping at the realization that people actually did this and this random dude says “oh yeah, this, this was a fun jump.”
They guy WHO IS ON THE POSTER of the Moab International Off Road Unicycling Championship, and likely the champion, just ran into me randomly.
“Yeah, there are some new guys in town that are doing some really fast rides up at Walker. Like hour loops.” He was referring to a six mile loop mountain biking trail that had taken me over three hours on a bike the week before. A six mile off road unicycle ride, and fast. “Want to go?”
Event organizer, writer, cyclist, cook, parent, teacher, runner, designer, coder, boss, sidewalk crosser, crossword puzzle solver, breather, or thinker? You won’t be the best at that here.
A neighborhood road ride features Lance Armstrong yelling “your level of doping disgusts me!” The rider in the front replies back “what, you got caught? That must suck.”
World champion runners come here to be passed going uphill by a grandmother with a stroller talking about their relaxing yoga session on their cell phone but complaining about that really loud breather who was getting their om on better than she.
Charity fundraisers are held at the gym or wikipedia.
Welcome to Boulder, where everyone is competitive and everyone that is happy has learned to be humble.
My type of town.
Also a fun game, if you ever meet someone that lived in Boulder and didn’t like it, try to figure out what they thought they were the best at. It is often cycling…