Musings on Bicycling and Buddhism

Monday, July 20, 2015

Yearning for the Road

Yearning for the road, your twists, your turns. Your subtle curves; gravel, dirt, pavement. 

The climbs that hurt, the descents that thrill. Those times when the air is wrenched from my burning lungs as I try to prove that, yes, this time I can. I will climb further, faster, forever

I want so much to be with you Road, where I pedal all the darkness, all the pain, and the disappointment I've ever known into joy. Where I pedal through the good times and the bad in this dialogue with nature. Nothing quite compares to you.

By this point so many have been riding their mountain bikes in woods or in races, or bikes on the trail or the peloton or in any and many an adventure journey, summer is for bikes. But for me, for now, my conversation with the road is one of those dreams of summer.

I yearn for the road like a long lost friend. I ride to and from work and everything else every day, year round. It's not just time on the bike that I yearn for, it's the road.

This spring and summer have seen my time at work be long, for historic peace accords only come once in a lifetime (these days). Travel too, but all on a mission. Coursework in my enduring labor of love with the Japanese language has claimed my waking hours as well.

But no matter how long the hours since last we met, as the days dawn hot and long, Road I yearn for you.

Cyclocross will come when it comes and at that time I will rejoice. Road racing is a magnificent thing but not in the plans for now.

What I long for are those long hours on quiet New England back roads with the speckled shade playing through the leaves above me. I long for the satisfaction that comes from challenging a climb and a distance and winning over myself, not a Strava segment, but something inside. No matter the distance, type, or speed so much of this is what we carry inside, and that's the challenge of a lifetime.

Since competing in cycling I've grown in ways I could never have imagined before. I so admire those that make this their life, those that make it possible, those that make the bikes, those that give their all for what they love.

But this small love letter is for where it all began, one girl's love affair with the road by bike.

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Tour de What You Will by Jessie Calkins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License