I edged closer to the precipice, It was a hard earned battle reaching the top but I had Won. Gravity is owned by the victor and today the spoils were mine alone. I balanced my bike in a track stand perfectly perched and ready to drop in. From where a sat I could see all the way across the San Juan’s. In a few short seconds I would be at sea level.
Cycling is the simplest and purest endeavor I have ever known. Success cant be bought or paid for it has to be earned. Today was the first day of spring training. Staring down the barrel of 45 is a great place to be in life but everything takes just a bit longer. 90 days on the couch has cost me dearly, stoking the fire has been the peak of my physical activity and it shows. 5 minutes into my first real ride of the season, my belly jiggled, my lead filled legs complained and by dormant lungs sputtered and coughed.
With every turn of the pedals I fell into a painful but fun rhythm. I rounded the corner a few miles into my ride and there she was, a spandex queen in her full glory riding a bagillion dollar bike. In stealth mode I gained ground, my fixie a Kona Paddy Wagon is as silent as a bike can be. As my tire edged up to hers I called out, where dd a little girl like you get a bike like that. She laughed and shifted, I stood up in the pedals and put the hammer down, the race was on.
Miles in the saddle are the only thing that can turn mountains into mole hills, today we were climbing Mount Everest. My lungs screamed out in pain, it felt like I was breathing razor blades, foam spit from my lips. My heart pounded through my chest and my legs cried in agony. Every ounce of my being wanted to give up by my mind was crystal clear and focused with laser beam clarity on the top. I let out a scream dizzy with delight as I rounded that little hill that had given me so much pain, my spandex queen barely 50 yards behind me. I extended my hand in the air for a high five, her pink cheeks and tired smile said it all. We continued on down the road with small talk of the island. It wasn’t long before my turn came up, I swatted her spandex ass leaned into my turn and pedaled for home.
My days of setting personal speed records may be over but there is far more to it than that. From here on out its all about style points, or should I say lifestyle points. 4 years into my boycott of cars and I have never once looked back. My world may be small but from the seat of my bike it will still take a lifetime to explore. There is nothing special about my little fixed gear steel frame bike and that is why I love her so much.
I could feel the damp heavy cotton of my Carhartt,s sticking to my legs, I was blown. All I had to do was turn right and gravity would take me all the way to my front door for hot coffee and a cigarette, I turned left.
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. ~ Ernest Hemingway