I rode a familiar path yesterday. I was alone and without hurry. I took the harder lines and worried not about my pace, content to grind up staggered rooty banks and awkwardly lope over rock and log. Another entry into the category of just happy to be there, with nothing to prove, and yet I felt the shame of cowardice as I passed a few spots. I used to hit that every time I thought to myself. It’s easy and all there. The risk is illusion the reward in the pocket. Hush up another voice said, and just ride your bike.
Every mile is precious and not to be gambled on a brief flash of panic, a steadying, and then the nonchalance of the lucky. We didn’t ride with cameras on our heads back then, like reality show contestants, so we are resigned to vague memories and the fading echoes of pride. We were young braves riding stick ponies who pounded our chests at the trails. Oh well, old chiefs ride with prudence and lay long tracks across the land.
Amen and AMEN!
I’ve ridden fewer hard rides this year than ever, and for shorter distances than previous years’ hard rides. Once I got over my upset over what are, in reality, abstract numbers, though, I enjoyed the daylights out of the rides.
LOVE your statement about old chiefs. Middle age: Membership has its privileges.
” ….so we are resigned to vague memories and the fading echoes of pride…”
You are not *resigned* to that…that is part of who you are and the way you came.
I rode alone today also. Unusual early season rain this week. Trails were velcro tacky…fast down. When I ride alone I often ask myself. HOW are you riding? Like an old 62 year old man? F that! I ride like who I am and the way I came…I carved the trails today Jauncho. I bombed little Moab the old HARD way. JenyJo would have smiled.
Roll ..how you feel. Just FEEL it.
Great post..got me goin’!!
I rode the way I came today too! I love that. I hit everything but big airs and railroad tracks.