I’ve lost a lot of things that were, at some point or another, dear to me. At times, I’ve even cast them away deliberately, either because of a nurtured indifference or an irrational or impulsive dislike. Regret is an easy emotion to find in reflection, it lays right at the surface and provides us with a quick answer without requiring further introspection. I prefer to recognize that every choice I’ve made was an opportunity and that even the failed opportunities make up part of the foundation that lays beneath me and helps support me as I grow. Life is about learning from your mistakes, looking ahead, and seeking beauty in every approaching moment; to embrace the opportunity to make the best choice we can based on our experience and our goals.
We walk along an intertwined web of choices and possible futures. Every choice is a crossroads where the direction we choose sends us hurtling towards a new destination. Some crossroads have paths that ultimately lead towards the same end, but all of them represent a different journey. We cannot see the path, so we are left to decide what to make of the journey. We always have a choice, even if the choice is simply to reject an option. But even rejection leads to a new choice, and that to another. Choice gives us freedom. To be deprived of choice is to be enslaved.
My season’s objectives lie at my back and before me stretches a long period of time as I work towards my next milestone, which is Keepers Tour 2015. Between here and there lies the Cyclocross Season in which I will sporadically race, and also a possible trip up Haleakala, but with my season just having ended, I will face them without any special preparation or training. My rides during the Fall are deliberately without objective, I ride as my fancy dictates. My objective is simply to ride and to rediscover the basic sensations that fuel my love for Cycling.
With this deliberate lack of structure, I explore once again the mysteries of The V. On some days, I come home from work and as I pedal away my muscles twitch as they hunger for the deep burning that only a session in the Five and Dime can do. Yet on other days I am drained and wish only to feel my legs spin and surrender to the hum of my tires as my senses fill with the cool damp smells of Autumn. The mystery lies in the fact that nothing between my days at the office will have been fundamentally different; I do not know the state of my body and mind until I climb aboard the bicycle.
Riding a bicycle may have nothing to do with the elemental existence of humankind, but it does have something to do with the elemental existence of us as individuals. The bicycle is freedom, to be sure, but it is also a mystery unto itself while paradoxically helping unravel the mystery how I respond and interact with my surroundings. Therein lies the enigma: the bicycle knows me better than I know myself.