January 7, 2013

Downhill From Here

The crest of a hill and then down, down a grade that seemed not so steep just minutes ago, but here it is and down, down and then bumps, small imperfections in the concrete magnified as you gain speed, the frame rattling, you grip the bars despite the sudden compulsion to jump, to put your feet out and stop like you did when you were learning to ride with training wheels only now you can't stop so you go faster and further down, down until the cold wind darts inside your flesh and your mouth and your nose and everything is running and there is cold under your skin, ripping your fingernails off your hands, the whooshing of the air exploding inside your ears louder and louder until it can't get louder and you can't get colder, but it can and you do, and still further down, and you accept that this must be it, the end, nothing but synthetic headgear between your head and uncompromising pavement, ready to twist and mangle your legs and arms when you go down, down further until you aren't, until down becomes flat, until the adrenaline subsides and then flat becomes stale, so you go again.

I got a bike for Christmas, and in that time I have come to the conclusion that serious cyclists have serious balls, balls that I as a (somewhat) serious runner seem to lack. I cannot imagine riding up and down mountains on these things, much less RACING up and down mountains on these things. My life as a hobbyjogger seems comparatively safe.

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