Beng Kidney is just like you. His youth was spent wondering if his genitals were presentable and his adulthood is spent making an incremental series of compromises that his child-self would not forgive.

There’s a little Kidney in us all.

Being an old coot is a chewy biscuit. You’ve now gotta be pretty old to qualify; the senior discount at the pharmaceutical buffet keeps thick blood oozing through limp vasculature long past the shelf life of the brittle frame that props up the whole dissolving, misfiring arrangement.

We’ll likely now live long enough to watch our proud selves become ineffective, irrelevant and incontinent. Finally, when the blood stiffens and the body pauses in a moment of repose, the cool air will creep inside, our warmth drifting outwards in one final bleb against the vicious cold of the void as the earth tilts to grill its leeward face.

Chewy biscuit, yes, especially these days.

Old coots have disapproved of their changing surroundings for as long as they have been unable to adapt to them, and as cultural shift accelerates those who refuse or are unable to adapt lose their apparent relevance very quickly. Eighty years of adaption is a weary forecast, and it can feel like heavy labour to work eternally towards the wandering target set by a culture that would discard you so casually.

Fortunately it isn’t necessary to be effective, relevant, or to have cack-free jocks to feel fulfilled. Mountain biking isn’t a service of utility; although we might pad it out with bouts of track building or helping out new riders, we mostly just want to ride our bikes with our peeps and get a bit rad. Some of us are pretty old, many of us have stood to the side of a snowballing mainstream that demands that you buy a ticket to ride. But we are as rad as we have ever been, and our smelly little tribe can provide us with all the lead our particular pencils require.

It is a fun activity to ask your peers and children to shoot you should you ever become frail and doddery, but it’s the kind of thing weird uncles say and in reality it would be illegal and strange. Stay alive, play the dealt hand. We’ll feed you and play scrabble with you and pay someone angelic to wipe you down. You gotta be alive if you want to be happy, that’s the only real prerequisite, which is hopeful in its own way.

Anyway, I’m twenty six, every period of unconciousness has ended and sex doesn’t sound like the rustling of dead leaves just yet. Death is so remote that it’s hidden in the shimmer of the open road. I think I’ll activate my dropper post, crack a fresh can of Monster, and pop a wonderful huck-to-flat.

I’ll see ya on the trails maaaate.

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