It is called The Waiting Room.
It is not majestic. Nothing that would be seen in the annals of a mountain bike magazine or a fast moving Pinkbike clip. It doesn’t even possess an encompassing or stunning view. Unless of course a set of power lines is considered ‘stunning’ (see what I did there?). They are only feet away.
Rather, it has a log. A log cut to hold a bike. Or a butt. The rider decides. For me, usually, it is my bike.
And it has a fire pit. Used infrequently but most prodigiously on the Thanksgiving Day ride.
It also has an appropriate number of leaves, trees, and sticks. And sometimes a bear. Off in the distance, hopefully.
But regardless of all that, The Waiting Room is a destination for any mountain biker in the Boston Lot trail network in Lebanon, New Hampshire.
The Waiting Room is a spot, if you will, of prominence. Or maybe even significance. Although it doesn’t have a sign to identify itself. Like the trails do. I suspect that it is not the least bit jealous, though.
And what, per se, does a rider wait for in The Waiting Room?
I have been asked that question again and again. By my wife, non-rider friends, family, colleagues, and anyone else hearing me proclaim through conversation or social media the benefits of stopping there. And waiting.
Given its name, it is a necessary question to ask. However, it is not an easy question to answer.
Maybe the difficulty in the answer comes in its connection for my need to ride. And that is hard to explain, too. So much need. Such few words. Story of my life.
I just have to do them. That’s all. Ride. And wait. Both restore me.
But that answer might be unsatisfactory to some. Even to me at times. So here it goes. An attempted answer. An acceptable one.
I wait for a lot.
I wait for another rider. Or a breeze. Sometimes I wait for a sound. Or silence. Or a vision of something positive. Often I wait on God. He has certainly found me there. And visa versa.
Sometimes others wait for me. I am not fast climbing. And they are. Particularly ‘Android Snackbar’ of Strava, Mason Racing bike shop, and Highland Mountain Bike Park fame. Or even Bruce Hathorn. Of childhood-friend fame.
Or maybe I am waiting for a beer. Some days it might be that simple. A beer. With Android or Bruce, a beer is always a possibility. Thank God for that.
I guess, in the end, of these words and the importance of the question, the waiting in The Waiting Room does not need explanation. And neither does my need to ride. Despite others. Despite myself. Both are simply what they are. Riding. Waiting. Amen.