Posted by: Miriam | 05/11/2010

For the Love of Bike

So Jed’s post got me thinking about why I ride bikes. I’ve been trying not to think about bikes, esp riding them for the last few months. When I do, it causes a pang of hurt in my soul and my heart. I miss them dearly. I love nothing better than riding on a summer evening through rolling fields with the smell of hay and a warmth in the air. Or the dappled sunlight filtering through the trees on any given afternoon on a flowy trail where I get to rail perfectly banked corners. Or the carnival ride feeling of your body pushed into your saddle when flying around the black line on the track. Or even the painstaking and cold task of washing an incredibly muddy cross bike post race.

I’ve been riding for 12 years. Crap. Twelve. Years. I’ve only been racing for almost exactly 5 though. I started commuting when I was in college because I did not have a car. I moved out the of the house and I gave the car back to my parents since I couldn’t afford it and rent. I got a bike. I rode the crap out of my bike. I upgraded to a white and baby blue Gary Fisher Tassajara GS. It fit me like it was made for me. I loved that bike, so of course it was stolen. I got a Henry Weinhards version Kona Blast (it was a gold and navy paint scheme). It was a little big for me. Then I got another Gary Fisher Tassajara GS. I rode the crap out of Ethel. I learned to mountain bike on her. She was too big, but she was fun. I only sold Ethel last year when I moved to Colorado. For my 25th birthday I wanted and got a road bike. A Trek 1200 (except for the angle of these bars is weird). A perfectly awesome entry-level road bike. I raced that bike for my first year racing even. I now have a cadre of bikes to choose from. Sweet Italian steel, ultra light weight aluminium road, my solid hard tail mtn bike, flat pedal mid 80s loaner/bar/commuter, a perfect little cross frame (who will hopefully become a long distance commuter shortly), and the favorite –  my steel Japanese track bike turned hipster-mobile. In the last 5 years I’ve owned 9 bikes, 6 of which I still have. Cycling is obviously a major part of my life.

The Trek has a special place in my heart. I first tasted freedom, wind in my face for just pleasure and not  just to get from point A to point B. I was in a bad place emotionally when I got that bike. I started to ride, and I realized what love really meant. I started to love myself over those months. I started to accept myself for who I am. I took the first steps towards becoming who I am now, on and off the bike. I know I may not always be a racer, but I will always be a rider. I want to be that blue haired old lady on my bike (or even a Trike) puttering around the neighborhood, pedaling slowly to the grocery store to pick up wine.

Now that I’m walking and recovering from the ankle upgrade, I can allow myself think about riding again. I can focus on that. I’m not going to think about racing just yet, because then I think about how much muscle mass I’ve lost and the divide between where I am now, and where I was/can be. But I want to ride again. I want to feel the wind in my hair and on my cheeks. I want that dumb grin that I just can’t wipe off.  I want my bliss back.

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Responses

  1. Keep your head up. That feeling will be so much sweeter if you take your time.


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