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Another Conversation with an Inanimate Object:

Me: Hey, bike. It’s… been a while. 

Bike: …

Me: Uh… I bet you heard about the other sports.

Bike: …

Me: Oh come on. I just needed a change- I thought about you the whole time, I promise. Even when I was climbing. You’re the best, bike. You know I love you more.

Bike: …

Me: You’re seriously not going to say anything? After all we’ve been through together, you have nothing to say to me?

Bike: …

Me: Ok. I guess it’s pretty unreasonable to expect you to talk.

Bike: …

Me: Look, I got you your favorite kind of trail. We’re on an epic, just like old times! Please take me back? We don’t have to talk if you don’t want…

Bike:

I can’t remember my last mountain bike crash, and I’m glad I finally had one. I’ve been treating myself like glass for six months while my knee heals, and getting pitched into a garden of sharky rocks felt strangely cathartic. It reopened not only old scars but the channels of communication between me and my bike- from that moment on I felt like a rider again. Except, of course, for the fitness part.

The cool thing about being four hours into the wilderness is that it doesn’t matter how out of shape you are. I am definitely not as strong as I have been on the bike, and I’m no longer a fearless eighteen-year-old bent on fame and glory (read: I’m slow as shit) but once you’re out there you’ve got to keep moving, and the sooner you make peace with yourself the better. I started my ride with intense criticism of myself and a lot of “you should be able to’s,” but the woods don’t care about things like that and eventually I didn’t either.
About the time the ride turned epic at hour six, it all just came back to the simple things I’ve always loved about this sport; the sun, the dirt, the speed, and the rusty smell of my blood drying, mixed with the mineral hints of loam and the familiar musk of pine. I love how acquaintances become comrades, comrades become family, and food becomes gold. I’m slow and slightly fearful, maybe, but I’m living the good life.
*  *  *

2 Comments

  1. Ori says

    Ain’t nothing like a good pair of matching socks…
    Making peace with oneself is the first step towards progress!
    “Be careful out there” (sarge@NYPD blue)

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