Yesterday I did a solo ride. Couldn’t help but think a bit on a 3.5 hour cruise in the country. Why do I ride, I asked myself. I ride for a variety of reasons.
Riding is social. Most rides I do not go alone. Some of my best rides are with my cycling buddies. Back in the day I got into the sport because of my good friend, Peteboy, and my son, Jordan. Larry Allen and I accomplished much while pedaling and peeling back the onion. More on that later…
Riding is spiritual. Most of my prayer time, truth be told, is when I’m cycling alone. I talk to God and mostly listen. Amazing what I hear when pedaling quietly in the countryside. One of my deep love to’s.
Riding is speedy. I’m not a racer but I do love speed. Cycling fills some of my need for speed. I used to descend with reckless abandonment. A few too many wrecks and one that wrecked my youngest son’s ❤️ slowed me down. I now say Taylor’s name at the top of every summit.
Riding is scenic. Country roads. Mountain passes. Green pastures. Fresh dirt recently turned. Wildflowers. Sun, sky, clouds. Rivers. Lakes. Oceans. Snow on a summit. Mountain streams and springs. The open range. Forests that seemingly never end. Deer. Turkey. Rabbit. Goats. Fox. Coyote. Birds. Nature and all her scents and sights fill the eyes and soul. Freakin magic, especially in the Spring!
Riding is chosen suffering. Most times I cruise. Sometimes I crush it. The camaraderie of suffering is freakin’ magic too. Speed thrills. Suffering on a mountain climb is soul cleansing. Lactic acid taking over the legs. You haven’t really ridden until you’ve tasted blood on your tongue when there is none. Damn.
Riding is sacred. 7 good minutes? Came to me while riding. CCD? Same. Leaders are believers? Shared this thought with Larry on a ride. He. Went. Nuts. Larry illuminated so many of my blind spots while riding beside me. His most powerful wake up call? He reminded me how much more he knew about me than I did about him. Seared my sorriness. All while cycling side by side. And, Larry decided to join BTL while cruising up Seldom Seen road way back in the day. Riding is sacred think time.
Riding is good for the self. I’m a broken man. I’m better after and during a ride. I’m poison and wine. More wine after a good ride. I’m lost most of the time. Nothing better than when I’m lost on a road less traveled. Riding restores me. Riding fills some of my gaping holes and makes me feel a bit more whole. Riding connects me to others, to myself, and to my creator. I am a cyclist. Riding is part of my identity. It’s a gift, a passion, a privilege, and a purpose filled push to become more who I am. And, it’s a lot of fun – much more so (at least to me) than going out for a run. Give it a go, you’ll see.
So, friend, next time you see me or any other cyclist out on the open road, give ‘em a little space. They may be having a moment, you know.
Oh yeah, I also ride for dear ole dad. You see, Doc Scott rode a single speed all throughout Salina. He rode to his office and the hospital too. He rode to Lions club and Church every Sunday. He raced us home after Church and nearly always won. He rode in the heat of the summer and throughout the snowy winters. I ride with dad too. I know he sees me and smiles. Someday soon I see, Dad, LA, and I laughing and loving on some heavenly route. Sacred.
Live hard. Love harder. Clip in. All in. Ride the damn thing…
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