Gravity is the most unavoidable force on Earth, with the possible exception of Stupidity. And like with Stupidity, you can take measures to reduce its influence on you, but you won’t get rid of it completely, assuming you’re staying on this planet. From the very moment we’re born, Gravity takes its unrelenting hold on us – which isn’t altogether bad because I learned from watching Despicable Me that as soon as someone is smart enough to invent anti-gravity serum, someone will be stupid enough to leave a skylight open.
We Cyclists protect a secret from the rest of the world: we can defy gravity. Riding allows us to float a few meters above the ground, suspended in a cloak of V. Add a little speed to the mix and a maybe few sweeping switchbacks and we are as close to achieving human flight as we will ever get.
Once we trade flat roads for the hills, Gravity reveals its true secret to us: the mind can overcome physical limits when we form the cohesive unit of bicycle and rider. There is a symbiotic bond that forms; Gravity pulls us down toward the bottom of the hill, and we require our strength to counter its force and scale the heights. The strength required to achieve this takes a heavy toll on our body, and it is only through focus and determination that we keep the legs turning over smoothy. Riding back down the other side, we learn to fool Gravity and explore the intersection of centripetal force, friction, and our old friend Stupidity.
With practice, we learn that our mind can drive us to overcome the the physical limits of not just our bodies, but Gravity itself. Its hold on us remains, but the effects are greatly diminished. In defiance of Gravity, we rise to touch the heavens and ride where angels fly.
Vive la Vie Velominatus.