Despite the proclivity towards being all-knowing that comes as a consequence of my being Dutch, the most beautiful things in life are discoveries that come as a result of not knowing. We are quick to answer but slow to think; the easy solution lies at our fingertips while the true mystery lurks just beyond, ready to reveal her secrets if only we are willing to venture into the unknown. Beauty is found in the journey, not the destination.
As Cyclists, we start our journey with the simple joy of pedalling a bicycle and escaping the clumsy limitations of bipedal locomotion – walking quickly loses its luster when you can pedal a bike instead. First we pedal to explore the limits of our range, then the limits of our speed. Finally, we pedal to explore the limits within ourselves as speed and range are tested together.
When we free ourselves from the confines of our local and familiar roads and point the bicycle towards parts unknown, we rediscover the childish beauty of exploration that came when we first started riding a bike. Not knowing what lies around the next bend is a mysterious sort of riding completely different from the regimented training we have become accustomed to. The familiar pressure will be there in our heart, lungs, and legs, but with it will come an element of nervous excitement at the anticipating the unknown. Whether we encounter a dead end or a gravel road; none of it matters in the scope of discovery.
One of the amazing things about a competent rider aboard a bicycle is how much distance can be covered in a day. After 8, 10, or 12 hours away, we can look at a globe and see the stretch of land we covered. The mind will be tired from the effort from having pushed the body and wondering about what will be coming next. The body will be empty, the lungs will have that familiar tension from supplying oxygen-starved muscles with fuel. The look in the rider’s eye will be one of the exhilaration that only comes as a result of total exhaustion.
We need this sort of emptiness in order to feel fulfilled. There is something beautiful to be discovered when we push into the unknown.