Sunday, August 14, 2011

Getting Back Up on the Bike.

I fractured my elbow several months ago in a cycling crash.  The physical healing completed, but the enthusiasm for cycling subsided.  Yesterday, the air was clean, fresh and cool on an overcast summer day.  I dug out the old route maps I collected from riding with the Irvine Bicycle Club.  I was looking for a short route to reintroduce myself to the idea of riding.  I wanted to ride alone, at my own pace, in my own thoughts.  I finally found a 15 mile route.  I did my standard checklist:  sunscreen, water, helmet, gloves, shoes, spare tires, pump, air pressure, identification, cash, sunglasses, shorts and jersey--the routine itself was like a priest preparing for Mass--a ritual of necessary items.  

Finally, I was on the road, and for the next 3 hours, I just was in the process of cycling.  For me, part of cycling is simply the level of attention needed to stay reasonably safe--basic matters like not tumbling over in front of vehicle, and anticipating a car that is emerging from an intersection or driveway.  In the end, I felt like an old warrior who had returned to the battlefield. Others may see cycling in more rhapsodic terms of exuberance and pleasure.  I view it as an objective:  miles covered, problems overcome, and injuries avoided.  They say that golf reveals a man's character.  It is disturbing to think cycling may reveal mine.  

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