When I quit playing music professionally in 2001, cycling filled the void. It was my methadone. It cured the itch and took the edge off the jones. Sure I sat in on a sound check or two, but really those were just little spins round the block. It was nothing like the miles I used to put in when I was a four hour a night, five nights a week, fifty weeks a year, journeyman.
The similarities between being a drummer and a cyclist are numerous. You actually have to work out, and get in shape, to be good. All four limbs work equally and its is really hard work (if you do it right). Having stamina is just as important as being musical in the rock world.
As you well know, I have been deprived of my once obsessive cycling schedule. It is a great little coinkydink that I got a few gigs during this dark era. You know doors opening when others are closing, and all that Hallmark hullabaloo. I stunk up the first gig because I wasn't ready and I didn't have time to practice. It was the equivalent of watching the gap increase and your mates disappear over the horizon. There is nothing worse than seeing a bands disappointment when you miss a fill or fumble through a tune because you don't know the correct groove. My lack of riding opened a ton of space on my calender and I went to the woodshed. I shook off the cobwebs and got back to basics. I put in the hours, I learned the tunes, and the payoff was a great gig the likes of which I hadn't had in years. Man it felt good, and in the interim something wonderful happened. My stress went down, and my neck improved. I have been able to do some honest rides as of late.
I hope this all comes off as thankful and not boisterous. I am as perplexed as anyone by my necks diva like behavior, and I was surprised I was able to regain a little swagger behind the kit. I am hoping to serve both mistresses with equal vigor, but I know I am floating on a bubble. For now I am on my third day in a row of riding and I can watch T.V. while playing a "Purdie Shuffle". Maybe I am the headless dancing chicken, maybe I am Fred Astaire, we'll all have to stay and see how this episode ends.