Someone I think, once said, "cycling is suffering". It was probably someone who won an important race or two, I'd wager, but I think the phrase is a little incomplete — by the way, if no one is quoted as saying exactly that phrase, I take full and 100% credit (patent pending) — but I'd like to add a part deux to that that goes a little sumfin like this…
"Cycling is suffering, otherwise you are just riding a bicycle…"
Now, before you get yourself in a tiffy that I'm some douchebag roadie who only rides to suffer or something, let me say, I LOVE "just riding a bicycle". In fact, on my 20 mile commutes, some days, sure, I'm cycling the whole way, running my very own feeble time trial that absolutely NO ONE cares about (except me and maaaybe my cycling partner Tuck) killing myself, making my legs scream, my heart race, my mouth and eyes go dead & gaping, woohoo! good times! BUT that's not every ride by any means or stretch of the imagination or hamstring…. Normally it's actually nice balance of cycling and just riding my bike.
As I was passing the airport today, the sun was wanting to come up, really trying, but it was heavy overcast and light rain, so all you could see what layers and layers of grey clouds being lit up — kinda like this — a beautiful blue-grey, one of my favourite colours.
That's when you sit up and take it all in. Drop down a few mph, see the way the early light mixes with the airport lights out past the field, how the occasional airplane is either getting ready to take off, or just did. The early morning truckers making their rounds, commuters waking up to coffee, talk radio, & a cigarette.
No music today, just my pedaling, the droplets hitting my rain jacket, my breathing, the cars and distant planes was the only sounds, it's funny how it's at once quiet and kinda noisy at the same time. So, I enjoyed it, a smile on my face, head arched up so I can see beyond my cycling cap and get a few droplets on my cheeks. A beautiful moment, the kind you keep an eye out for when riding.
I was just riding my bike. No cares, no suffering, nothing but a child-like moment that felt like freedom & happiness & mine.
This went on for a few minutes until suddenly, a school bus passes by at a good clip, pretty fast but not too fast where maybe I could get in it's draft… TURBO BOOST ACTIVATE!!!
I ripped out a giant fart, dropped down to the drops, and hammered after the school bus, catching it within a few seconds, pedaling my ass off to stay with it…… Yeah, I was cycling again.