I started out fast and hard. Timing myself to see how fast. Pushing myself for the day to see how hard I could ride this day. Could I ride as fast as I could ten years ago. Five years ago. Last week.
The first ten miles I didn’t think about much other than where I was going and how fast I could get there. I loved the feeling of the grit hitting my legs. The sweat pouring down my arms and down my back.
I was racing the storms coming.
I was trying to keep up with the sun.
After that first 10 miles or so I started thinking. I didn’t have to ride as hard. Ten miles is my marker. Can I do what I used to do in the same time or better. That’s what I measure against. Have I managed to hold on to what I can do. Usually after that 10 miles I start to ride different. If pedaling is smooth and fast and no matter what I do I can’t slow down-I go with it. If I have a desire to not go as fast I don’t worry about it….too much.
After I finished the first 10 miles and pedaled on for a few more I realized where I was on the trail. I sat up straighter on the bike. I looked at my odometer. Just 10 miles left.
Why am I speeding and powering through it?
It’s only going to get me to the end. Faster. And then I have to start winding down the freedom of the day and enter in to the responsibility of tomorrow.
Why. Why! Why am I trying so hard to finish this ride?
Tomorrow I can’t be here. I can’t be doing this. What is my rush and why power through it?
I slowed down. I stopped on occasion. I rode sitting up. And I rode in to the wind. And I rode it out as long as I could make it go.
I’m not a fool. I know the next time I’ll do the same thing. Get going as fast as I can. Hard as I can. Testing myself – against myself. Then I’ll see how close I am to being done. And wish I didn’t have to finish so soon. And wonder if I missed something along the way because I started paying attention too late.
Such is my bike ride.
Such is my life.