Day before yesterday I rode and rode. I rode really too much. My quads were physically exhausted, and I found myself on the streets taking chances I might otherwise not take, because I'd had tapped the last of my reserves, and was still far from home. I knew I should take some time off today to recover. Yet this morning, it was all I could do not to get on Lucille and head for the next destination - anywhere! The best I could do was give her a bath (kinda needed it after Jamaica Bay), just to spend some time around her.
Today, I had errands to run (not particularly needing a bike), calls to make, and my mother's taxes still to do (I'm dragging my feet on this, I confess). In the end - and against my better judgment - I went for a ride late afternoon, down to the Battery and back, no destination in mind. The wind was brisk and offered more resistance than I was comfortable with. No matter. Just to breathe and ride with Lucille was joy enough.
I have heard so many tales of horseback riding, where rider and horse are one. I imagine race car drivers feel the same way - or basketball players for that matter. Any occupation where you're so fully absorbed, you become one with it. And that's bike riding for me. To move through the wind and automatically know what gear you're in without having to think, to be one with the wheels and the pedals and the road - it's almost a conversation between you and the bike that, when it's working, creates a whole other state of being.
There have been many activities in my life where I was so fully absorbed, I lost track of time: music, film shooting and editing - that's how I knew I was on the right path. But nothing that made my heart beat faster just at the thought of it.
As we headed for home, my spirits flagged - I so didn't want this ride to end; I so didn't want to face the grown-up obligations awaiting me. And yet I had to smile. As we passed two pedestrians on my street, I heard one say to another, "What a good looking bike."
That's my Lucille.