Cycling

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 had ridden 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.

Comments

  1. Now I think I understand how you can spend so much time watching the Tour de France. :)

    I know you've told me about your love of cycling before, but I didn't understand how you could watch someone else cycling for so long.

    It seems it's a mixture of your own passion for it, nostalgia, your own feelings when you yourself ride a bike and the journey in the competition (rather than the destination).

    I liked this entry!

    ReplyDelete

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