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.