Sunday, April 03, 2016

Pedal. Brake. Pedal.

I decided that I would stop racing bikes.  It's been decided for me, by the universe.  Maybe those around me, those that know me, those that care, aren't really raising an eyebrow.  I think I might be the only one that didn't know it was over.  Or maybe I couldn't admit that it was over.  While I was making excuses for not racing, it was apparent that I don't want it anymore.

I guess it's the "brake" part of pedal-brake-pedal.  It does mean something to me.  It's not just a goofy name for a played-out blog.  It's a somewhat childish metaphor for life.

Pedal.  That's go time.  Things are happening when it's time to Pedal.  Make it count.

Brake.  Things end.  Things change.  Evolution or even revolution has to happen when it's time to Brake.

Pedal.  Again.  Always Pedal again.

There are the physical reasons.  I can't explain them away.  The shoulders.  The knees.  The elbow. The hip.  The ankle. The neck.  The back.  The eyes.  The breathing.  It mounts.  It mounts.  Always mounting.  To ride is a triumph.  To ride fast and well is a fairy tale.

There are personal reasons.  Family.  Kids.  Job.  Jobs.  Money.  Pressure.  More pressure.  There have always been questions about my loyalty to all of the things aside from the bike.  I can't live with those questions anymore.

There are philosophical reasons.  Unacceptable performances.  Feelings of obligation.  Searching for reasons to race.  Searching for reasons not to race.  Worry.  Fear.  More fear.

When I was 12, there was no way to tell how long I would race.  Or how many times I would race.  What I would race. If I would ever be any good.  No concept of how it would shape my life.  That it would become my life.  I downplayed that it was my life.  I don't do that anymore.  It was my life.

That life and I have diverged.  I can't pinpoint when.  That's my blindness.  It did diverge, and it's gone.  It's glad to be rid of me.

I started life as a physical mutt.  No talent.  No natural ability.  No muscle.  No strength.  I was timid.  Bookworm.  Comic books.  I wanted to be a comic book hero.  At a very early age I questioned my own worth. Bike riding opened a door that was never there.  It's been 37 years.  Maybe it should have been 20.  Or 25.  It's been 37.

I love to ride bikes.  Love to ride hard.  Love to ride fast.  Love the push.  I love to see 180 beats per minute.  47 miles per hour.  5000 feet of elevation gain.  Bike parts.  Cool bikes.  Cool bike riders.  Working with my hands.  Make something work that didn't. 

Pedal.  Brake.  Pedal.  It does mean something.  To me.

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