Cycling has always been one of my passions; it still is and I assume it will always be.
When I was just a child I remember watching in wonder how people could get onto a small machine with wheels and move so freely and quickly along the road. The bike was something magical for me.
Learning to ride the bike was a long process of frustration after frustration. It didn't come easy to me and my brother didn't want to help me.
When I finally learned it was thanks to my brother. Well... sort of. He was sitting with his friends, just hanging out, doing nothing. Being the annoying little brother I asked him to help me do a full circle around the block. He simply had to run behind me with his hand firm in the seat so I didn't lose balance. After a lot of nagging he finally agreed to help me.
I circled the full block, enjoying the ride, with confidence. When I turned the final corner I saw my brother sitting with his friends, hanging out, doing nothing.
The realisation that I rode without any support, on my own, made me happy. It was a victory, I could finally do it. I mastered the bike.
As soon as that realisation hit me I lost balance and hit the ground.
I think I spent most of my childhood riding the bike here, there and everywhere.
In my teens I joined a cycling team. It became a lot more serious. We trained in the velodrome in San Sebastian where I had seen a lot of my idols compete. Most days I would ride 50km, sometimes more.
The problem with being part of a team and taking part in competitions was that I lost the freedom I had always enjoyed. Competition cycling dampened my passion for pedalling.
Two years later I left the team. I wasn't a great rider, I didn't have a competitive spirit and the passion came back.
My fondest memories are of those years after I left the team. I would ride the bike most days, every Saturday and Sunday I would wake up around 6AM and I was out on the road with the first light of morning. I was free. It was just the road and I.
Still to this day, that's what I love most. When I'm on that bike I'm on a different planet, a different dimension. My head clears. Nothing matters, there doesn't need to be a reason for doing it.
No competition, no goal, no glory.
Just the road and I.