Life On Two Wheels

Along the river and toward the mountains a morning shadow shimmers across the road. The rays of the first light jet through the trees and across a figure gliding upon the road. His breath trails in short spurts, petrified as it hits the icy air. All is quiet except the slight sound of the athlete as he summons himself for yet another days work. Soon the rest of the world will bustle with life as well and the brief simplicity of cyclist and nature will disappear into the everyday struggle of life in full motion; the errands and intervals, the appointments and intersections, and the deadlines and finish lines OutPaceTheRace

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Life on demand

Sac-town, Cali

At the Doubletree here in Sac-town there are more busses and rental trucks than when DHL delivers to grand central station. Bikers are everywhere, fools with cameras loiter behind the trees and tempers are flaring. But we need to train and so we escape out onto the streets, within the traffic and disappear from the face of the city- into the ghetto and through the country clubs, along the river and among the river boats. We flash from one suburb to the next and laugh at what’s funny and sneer at what’s not. Some guys want to go hard and some not, but he who goes hard is always ridiculed by the rest; not because he deserves it but because it puts pressure on everyone else to do the same. The most effective way to make a good idea look bad is to tell the guy who made the idea he’s an idiot. But pretty soon someone else thinks his idea’s good too, and he’s off in his trail… one thing leads to another and everyone’s going full and racing all out; ‘cept for that one guy who said the idea was stupid, he’s sitting there watching everyone else ride further into the distance, quite content to sit in the wake and muse with himself whether his legs are indeed as open as he hopes. Then it’s all over and we ride together again, chatting about the flatness of the roads and how Sacramento ranks among the top 10 of the worst places in the world to live. We are distracted by even the slightest change in anything, not because we’re dyslexic, but because we seek contrast in a monotonous four hours of Sacramento countryside. And then were back, into the city among the bridges and towers. Cameras flash, sirens wail, and the bum on the corner asks for a dollar. We thread our way through the buses, trucks and team cars and make our way to our phalanx. We give our bikes to the mechanics and make our way to our rooms. This is life, this is how we live…