I’ve never been afraid of imitating my heroes, they always seemed like the best examples available and as a student of life (as every child is) it seemed normal to me to copy every aspect of their lives that I had visibility into. I copied my dad’s handwriting as I was learning to write just as I copied Greg LeMond’s position on the bike as I was learning how to get serious about Cycling. None of my friends recognized my dad’s handwriting; they all thought my handwriting looked different from everyone else so they figured I had “cool” handwriting. All of my friends who rode bikes recognized Greg Lemond’s riding style; they all figured I was a copycat.
It was an early lesson; neither the complement nor the criticism meant terribly much to me; I was busy learning and that was good enough for me. I have to say, though, that as I’ve grown older, I’ve become more fond of my younger self, that version of me who didn’t feel the influence of what others believed so much. As we age, we “know” more and we “believe” less. Preserving the ability to believe is what keeps us young; for that reason alone, I refuse to grow up and insist on believing in everything I find beautiful, however irrational it might be.
Which brings me to Cycling; Cycling is the perfect way to stay in touch with the more delicate aspects of what we love in our lives. Riding in the first place is already enough; breathing the air and indulging in the tension of strength in our muscles and body as we ride brings an awareness that most people don’t have the opportunity to experience. As we develop in the sport, we start to test the limits of our bodies and equipment; testing is the way we experience growth and the development of our skill.
Every time we climb aboard a bicycle, we are testing our limits the same as we did as children; to be a Cyclist is to be young again. Vive la Vie Velominatus.