Just 10 Miles Left

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.
Stop
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37 thoughts on “Just 10 Miles Left

  1. Yes, but I think that feeling you get when the adrenaline kicks in is a bit irresistible!

  2. Sounds like a wonderful ride Colleen and the photos of your ride are absolutely beautiful! You have a lovely area to ride your bike.

  3. The freedom of the ride! You still rule, Colleen. ❤ ❤ Good for you. Me, I'm out of breath just reading how fast you biked. 😀

  4. ksbeth says:

    ah, yes. enjoy the ride )

  5. dogear6 says:

    I’m doing the same thing on my walks through the woods. When I start, I don’t want to be there. I want to think, but my brain just shuts off. Halfway through, I want it to be done, even though I’m enjoying the sun, fresh air, and birds singing. Then as I get towards the car I don’t want it to end – maybe I should go longer / do more / stretch it out a little.

    You raise a good point though – that’s how life is too. We miss so much and by the time we slow down to savor it, most of whatever it is, is now over.

    I definitely need to work on this one!

    Nancy

  6. russtowne says:

    I believe you get great pleasure from both parts of your ride. Each might look and feel different, but be treasures and treasured nonetheless.

  7. Val Boyko says:

    Great metaphor Colleen!

  8. niaaeryn says:

    When racing storms, it would make me go faster too. The analogy is flawless. Love the photos, must have been a grand ride. Glad you were able to slow down and enjoy it. 🙂

    • 🙂 Thank you Niaaeryn. I actually stopped the bike a couple of times to take pictures. I very seldom have done that. Just recently started. Think I will do more……after those first 10 miles probably 😉

  9. jmgoyder says:

    Wise words and this really got to me in a metaphorical way – thanks!

    • METAPHOR! THAT is the word I was tormenting myself with not being able to come up with for my tag. Thank you! I actually had to stop my bike ride and use my handy phone to send myself these thoughts so I wouldn’t forget them. This wrote it’s self while I was riding Julie and just made me really appreciate where I was.

  10. markbialczak says:

    Your mind and eyes are always open, MBC. Really!

  11. cindy says:

    I love this post. I’ll remember it the next time we hike!

  12. April says:

    Love the photos. I always wonder what I’m missing when working against myself.

  13. tric says:

    Because I live surrounded by countryside I am lucky as on occasions I find it calls me to stop and take a moment to really see what I’m missing. I just don’t stop often enough.

  14. I sometimes wonder what I miss even when I’m paying close attention! But I’m never disappointed when I slow down spend a few extra moments at attention. A bike offers so many possibilities for exploration. Enjoy as often as possible! 🙂

    • Exactly Debra, it’s a bit overwhelming sometimes. Paying attention we may be too focused to gather in the whole. Not paying attention we may miss something that is fleeting but oh so worth while. The bike is definitely a great tool to get through life! 🙂

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