Flash here, and it feels good to be back and writing this. Nothing much has changed since last time. Still cycling, although not as much as I'd like as I had to make time this summer for actual vacationing, three of them in fact. But still, doing it, climbing the mountains but just not as fast or as far. Mostly solo outings.
After an early stint this year as a hill climbing instructor for new riders which lasted 10 weeks, then some few and far between group leading with Team Alameda, I more or less resorted to default mode for me, which is solo riding.
When I go out alone there are fewer distractions. No one to talk to but myself, no one to alter the purity of my route choice. I don't take music with me. I listen to the soundtrack in my head, for better or worse. Why do many, many people find that so hard to do? Whether out walking, jogging, or yes, cycling, they sport the ubiquitous white ear buds and wires signifying their umbilical cord to distraction, overstimulation, and tuning out.
In recent posts I've spoken about nostalgia and how it has become an integral component of my rides. If anything, it just becomes more pronounced with time. I had a really hard time last Saturday getting motivated for my ride, I just could not get out of the house before 11am. Once I got on the bike and started riding, all that muddled morning shit just evaporated and I thought about my Gemini essence. My two dueling halves, Jim, who on the one hand just wants to leisurely plod through the morning, and Flash, who patiently waits for his time, when once on the bike emerges to dominate the two personalities through force of nostalgia. I think what I mean is that there is so much historical gravitas in Flash's domain that it serves like a blinding light casting away the shadows of Jim World. Gravitas constructed on cemented layers of nostalgia going all the way back to childhood, through each cycling incarnation (still in the 4th).
Yes, I feel decades younger when on the bike, that is some kind of instant miracle. Sometimes, I remember a feeling I had when I was a kid. A sweet, wondrous feeling that the world is full of possibilities and that it is in fact, a good place. I think it might be a fleeting recollection of that thing we call innocence. We are all born with a full tank of innocence, but as we age, the tank slowly but surely runs dry and we never even realize it's gone. That is a great, sad, price to pay for adulthood.
But I am here to say that for me, when I am on the bike, it is possible to feel it once again. It's almost like, for a few moments, the feeling of falling in love. Is that not the best possible thing to experience? And I can get this from pedaling on my bicycle.