Things start to breakdown when I’ve missed too much time on the bike. I’m so far past the point of my commute fulfilling the need that it does little to quell the Beast, even after taking the bus for a week. My focus vanishes. Anger will rise in my belly and without an outlet I walk the floors at work with a scowl on my face. Certain things help tide me over, but they provide temporary relief, but often the soreness from those efforts sticks around exponentially longer than the quiet it provides the mind.
Soon, more quickly than it comes, my muscles loose the subtleness that comes with hours spent spinning. When you return everything hurts. Everything is hard. Hills that were once a piece of piss now feel steeper than the Kapelmuur. In short, its a blow to the ego. Half way up that hill becomes a brilliant stick which your better, fitter self uses to beat you back into what you once were.
But some days none of that matters. The sky could be dumping buckets, saturating your clothes with rain water from above and dirty street water from below. Or, you could be racing from the top of a mesa in an attempt to beat the setting sun. The borrowed mountain bike bouncing from rock to rock below me. It’s in these moments that I’m reminded of why I really ride.
This pursuit has become ridiculously central to who I am.