Friday, July 29, 2011


I have a lot on my mind this fine morning. There is a lot on the scale that needs to be reckoned with. I am trying to make my way through the world and not let the cynical prick that lives in my head, come out and talk. He is a Bastard and only remembers the things that hurt me. Sometimes he serves me well, but it is best if he stays locked down.

I don't want to hate people. People that speed to stop signs. People that eat yogurt and steer with their knees. People that kill cyclists that I know. It is hard to see the other side. It is the most human thing to do, but God help me, it is so very hard.

I don't want to be afraid on my bike. It is my church, my therapist, my one place where the internal dialogue goes quiet. The worst days on the bike are better for my soul than the good days I do not ride. It is always good to go ride, but now I ride with a ghost. Every time a car passes I feel the chill of his death. I think of sons living with no father. Every time I ease onto a road with no bike lanes, I have fear I have never had before. I have never been a victim of discrimination, this is all new. Twelve years I have been riding, but I feel the hate now. Even when they don't yell, crowd, beep their horns or give me the stink eye, I feel it. I know they are not bad people. They are just angry about their own ghosts. They are letting their cynical bastard drive.

It is no coincidence that I am commuting this week. Because I am alive and can ride a bike, I feel as though I should. I should ride as much as I can. I should ride on the road with my fears, with my hate, with those that hate me. I am going to ride because that is the only thing I can do that feels productive. It's my road too. I paid my share, and then some.

Tomorrow, lets ride.



mungam said...

I feel that fear now too. I don't think I ever did, even after I became a dad, till now. I think I've always been worried what type of event would make me afraid; this was it.
I'm riding tomorrow.

Juancho said...

You just have to do it, get out there and put all that hate into the pedals. Keep your middle finger in check, and breathe deep.

"Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. ..." MLK Jr.

WheelDancer said...

Fear is the first response but for me is followed by a deeper appreciation of how sweet it is to be alive.

Feel the wind in your face and the road pass under your wheels. More life is wasted worrying about the bad that could happen than enjoying the wonder available right now.

I'll be riding tomorrow even if I am 2000 miles away.

Blieb said...

It is sobering for certain. I have never really had problems with cars. There are roads and places I won't go, but also roads I ride regularly that people avoid (e.g. way out Old St Augustine, Centerville, etc).

Sometimes when I hear a big vehicle coming I wince and think "I hope this isn't the one that gets me".

He wouldn't want us to be afraid, he wasn't.

Velosopher said...

In the end, we have no choice. We do the thing we can't *not* do. I do my best to enjoy every ride, but I fall far short. My average is going up, though.

Keep 'em turning!

Jeff said...

Have you ever noticed that a bike is so much more than a machine? Scoty from Star Trek felt the same about the equipment he worked on. It was a he or she, it had personality. Bikes transcend the mechanical in a similar way and become transporters! They transport your mind (if not your soul)and move you beyond pain and fear. It transports you from this world and you and the bike become one. As I move along in my ride somehow the bike and I meld and I am no longer pedaling (that just seems to happen beyond my will) but the bike and I float above the pavement. It is more like flying than riding.

Enjoy every ride. Even the more difficult ones.