– the blog –

Is Type 3 Fun Actually Fun?

Most adventurous, outdoorsy, athletic people are well acquainted with the Three Types of Fun (explained here and here). To simplify it, here is how I think of the three types of fun:

  • Type 1: Wooooo!!
  • Type 2: LOL, that was nuts. Do it again?
  • Type 3: WTF?! Never again.
Now, I have had my share of all three types and greatly prefer the first two, by leaps and bounds. I am not against Type 3 fun, but it has to be towards some purpose or worthwhile goal. In short, I am against suffering for the sake of suffering.

As I think back to my past two race seasons on the bicycle, I have discovered that the races where I firmly slipped into Type 3 fun are the ones I have no intention of doing again. I suffered during a couple races this year and ended up feeling wrecked afterwards. And when I try to find some benefit from doing those two races, I find none. No chance of being on the podium, no amazing views that took me away from the pain, and no bonding experiences with other racers during the race. In point of fact, they felt like suffering for the sake of suffering. Thumbs down. Hard.

And here's the flip side. There is always a possibility that a previous Type 3 activity could be turned into a Type 2. I did Rexy in 2021 and ended up DNF'ing with my body feeling like shit for days afterwards. Unlike Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder and RPI's Queen Stage Race though, I have continually thought about doing Rexy again. While the race cracked me (and cracked me hard), I still have a handful of positive thoughts that make me want to do it again someday. The scenery was beautiful, I had a great crew, and the first section was enjoyable despite my freezing feet. Sure, I could barely move my body the next day and sitting was hard for weeks, but I can foresee me one day (with a few better bike and clothing choices) having a great Rexy race.

I am keeping all of this in mind as I start to slowly consider what challenges I will put on the calendar for next year. Unbound XL is on there as it toes that line between Type 2 and Type 3 with the possibility for some really enjoyable moments and being a solid accomplishment. The Great Divide Bike Route is also tempting me. It's been nearly 10 years since I thru-hiked the PCT and I feel I am past due for a grand adventure. Let's not forget the Montana Bike Odyssey, which I almost did this year and just looks stunning.

I am also contemplating an international trip as I have not been out of the country in a good long while. There is a race around Scotland, the Rift in Iceland, and one must admit that the Alps or Mallorca are pretty gorgeous too.

Decisions, decisions...