Into the Wind

6 Jan

I love riding my bike.  I’m not entirely sure what it is about this simple act that gets my blood pumping but it does.  Maybe it is the fact that riding your bike is a solitary activity.  It is a great time to think about anything, and my thoughts have ranged from deep spiritual conversations with God to musings on why I love ketchup but hate tomatoes.  I have had a ton of great thoughts on the bike, but for some reason thinking while riding my bike is like a dream.  After I am done riding I can’t for the life of me remember any of the prophetic thoughts that I conjured up in my brain, just like trying to remember details of a dream you just woke up from.  It just can’t be done.  Sure I remember some things but the majority of thoughts get left out on the road.  Maybe that’s where they belong.  Maybe riding my bike is like an artistic outlet that lets my creativity flow.  Instead of painting pictures or making pots I ride my bike and think, creating ideas that are just for me.

I love riding my bike because of  the fact that you can’t talk your way into being a good cyclist.  It is the ultimate put up or shut up experience. When you are in a bike race you can talk the entire time about how good you feel and how much better prepared you are than everyone else.  You can have the Wilier Cento1 SL with $3000 Enve wheels (Both of which I wouldn’t mind owning), but ultimately its your legs not your bike or your mouth that are going to win you the race.  And the only way to get your legs into the shape they need to be in to succeed in any race is to work.  Pure and simple, you have to suffer on the bike to reap the benefits later.  You have no excuses either because it’s up to you.  The ball is in your court.  If you want to be a good cyclist you have to work for it.

I love riding my bike because there is always someone better than you.  This is true if you are a beginner cyclist swinging your leg over the top tube for the first time, all the way to the pro peloton.  Even the greatest cyclist ever Eddy Merckx, who won 333 races (Including 5 Tour’s, 5 Giro’s, 1 Vuelta, 3 World Championships, and 19 Monuments) in his career, lost.  There is always going to be someone better than you and that is humbling.

I love riding my bike because it is hard.  There are flat tires, headwinds, angry drivers, 17% grades, bonks, cramps, scary descents, crashes, rain, bees and traffic furniture to just name a few.  But the fact that it is hard is what makes it what it is.  One of my favorite parts of a ride is afterwards when I sit on my couch and think about what I just got through, what I just did and how it made me stronger, both mentally and physically.

I love riding my bike because it is slower than driving your car and faster than walking.  You can see so many amazing things when you are riding your bike.  It can take the form of an amazing sunrise, how clean and crisp everything looks after its rained, or a startled herd of deer on the next switch back.  Riding my bike allows me to enjoy this amazing world we live in.

I love riding my bike because it is beautiful.  Just look up anything that has to do with Rouler magazine or Elcyclista.  Look up photos done by VeloImages or The Blue and the Red.  True these are amazing photographers with a ton of skill taking pictures, but they are just capturing what makes riding your bike so great.  The beauty.

I leave you with an example of the beauty that riding your bike holds.  Below are a few pictures that I took after today’s ride.  It was windy, cold and wet but it was also amazing.  Even my meager photography skills can’t hold back the beauty of a training ride in Colorado.

 

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