I stood under our tent at the corner of the field and watched him handcrank his way up the muddy turf to his own tent. The bike was a fat-wheeled four wheeler, and the “pedaling” looked desperately hard. “Jesus wept,” I thought, “I don’t know if I could that.”
This comes up with my cycling friends sometimes. What would we be, how would we think of ourselves, if we couldn’t ride the way we’re used to riding? What would we do?
I encounter riders asking these same questions in my work life too, riders who’ve aged out of group rides, or can’t ride drop bar bikes anymore due to neck and back problems. E-bikes have been a solution for some. Some have sought out recumbents or simply switched from drop bars to straight.
I admire them all so much. It’s as though all the pretense is stripped away, even bits of ego and dogma you didn’t realize were there, and all that’s left is the desire to ride.
This week’s Group Ride asks, how far would you go to ride a bike? What adaptations would you be willing to make? What if you couldn’t ride at all? If you think that cycling is part of your identity, what is your identity when you remove the cycling?
Image: Break the Boundary