Type II Fun

Type II Fun

By Ken “The Badger” Nowell

“Type 2 fun is miserable while it’s happening, but fun in retrospect. It usually begins with the best intentions, and then things get carried away.”- Kelly Cordes, REI CO-OP Journal

Today I want to talk about my love of Type II Fun which is defined above. If you are a member of Indoor Specialist or DIRT, you know exactly what I am talking about! In fact, it’s probably why you are here and why we’re friends. Years ago when I started mountain biking I got introduced to this type of fun. I’d come home covered in dust, scraped up, bruised, exhausted, thirsty and hungry and all I could think about was when I get to do it all over again.

Of course sometimes, we can take things too far and many of us have had the experience of being asked after an event or a race “would you do it again?” to which me may reply “don’t ask me today” or “fuck no, I’ll never do that again!” The former is typically my answer after any mountain bike race and the latter was my answer after Tough Mudders and Alpe, Dew, Pizza.

It makes me think, why is Type II Fun even a thing? So I took to our Discord Text All Channel (total shitshow) and got the feedback from some of our members to see what they get out of hard efforts such as intervals, training workouts and racing. Here is what some of them had to say. Lenny Baird says ”it isn’t always fun to be honest but the time when everything somehow goes right is worth it.” Lenny, sounds like you might also have a gambling problem!

The Legend says “I am always up for the challenge and hope that one day it might not hurt so bad.” BTW, The Legend has done The Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race so he’s a pretty good authority on suffering.

Jose Wence, always good for some insight has to say “I don’t sign up for races like the MGF or Dadurday because they’re easy. I sign up because I know it’s going to be a bloodbath. Because I know we’re going to test each others’ limits and push one another to be better. The pain and suffering sucks in the moment, but the aftermath and high of being pushed past your limit sticks with you and makes you hungry for more.” Jose’s one of our A racers and can be found dropping knowledge like a boss on Discord Text All.





Aaron Ringle reminded us of perhaps the best cycling quote of all time. “I always come back to LeMond’s quote about it never getting easier, you just go faster.” 100% agree with that, Aaron! After so many hard rides, this seems to be an immutable truth.

Brian Carver, our Race Director known for doing Dadurday Double Headers says “Misery loves company. Shared suffering is the glue that bonds DIRTs together.”  Well said Brian! And thank you for accompanying me on Alpe, Dew Pizza while clobbering beers at 300 watts. Sorry you blacked out for the finish because it was awesome.

Graham Partain, an OG DIRT member from way back (like, August 2018) had something that I also find to be true. “Because deep in the cave I find peace. Every now and then I panic and think I want out and then a DIRT talks me back in. I am happiest deep in the pain cave.  It brings me joy”

This is all great stuff and short of interviewing an evolutionary biologist for a deeper reason, it helps me get some insight into why we are so attracted to pushing our physical limits. I can give you a few reasons why I love it so much. It’s the Yin Yang of the suffering followed immediately by the sublime feeling of euphoric relief that comes immediately after finishing. It’s the satisfaction of having trained hard and doing something that I never thought possible. And it is also an escape from my mind both during the moment and it has a lasting effect for sometimes several hours and I can think through life’s problems with clarity. My anxiety-ridden stream of consciousness diminishes in direct proportion to how close I am to my physical limits and for a brief period, I can live completely in the moment.  


So, if you need more Type II Fun in your life, we’ve got you covered! Welcome to DIRT Zwift Team!


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