Cycling Adventures
At One With Your Machine

Clouds in West TexasHave you ever been "at one" with your bicycle? You know what I mean. You're heading home, wrapping up a hard workout. A stiff wind, once your adversary, is providing an encouraging push to your back. The pavement, earlier pitted and pocked, has become obsidian-smooth. The flash of fence posts in your peripheral vision is a metronome, giving a steady beat to which your whirling feet count cadence. The world around you dissolves and re-forms into a space roughly twenty feet in front of you and three feet to each side and infinity behind you. You outrace your shadow, the sun's efforts at your back completely futile.

Suddenly, the concepts of friction and wasted effort become laughable, as you realize that the transmission of power from your legs is bypassing completely the pedal axles, the bottom bracket spindle, the links of the chain, the pulleys on the derailleur, the hubs on the wheels and even the tiny patch of rubber touching the now-glowing road. You have somehow made the drivetrain of your bicycle expendable, unnecessary, as your power is instantly and completely applied directly to the forward motion that now defines your existence.

Your breathing is effortless, your mind sharp and clear. In that instant, frozen in time, you know that you can do this forever; you understand, perhaps for the first time ever, the concept of true freedom. You are one with your machine. Have you ever had this feeling?

Naah, neither have I. Maybe someday, though.

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