Do you still ride ?
I met Jack a few years back, on one of the local
trails. A gregarious personality, his simplicity and passion for the outdoors was
infectious. He exuded the personality of a genuine outdoors person. Before long we started
an acquaintance that would see us through many rides and climbs. Careers, marriage and
children however have lead us on divergent paths. He had simply slipped off my radar.
Fast forward to the present.
Place : Chang Mai. Macdonald's.
I was on holiday to escape from the hustle and bustle of the Singaporean rat race.
While in the queue I noticed him. Jack. Unshaven, in an unwashed t-shirt and shorts. Over
burgers we caught up with each other's life. Jack was in Chang Mai to climb a local
"secret" wall. He had taken a bus from Singapore to Bangkok, then a train to
Chang Mai. He was residing in a $5 a night hostel while indulging his climbing passion.
Inadvertently our conversations drifted to our common interest - cycling. I popped the
dreaded question, a question of faith "Do you still ride?". Like a guilty child
Jack sheepishly replied that he had sold his road bike and only rode his mountain bike to
the shops and back.
Sacrilegious isnt it? Not really. He still keeps the faith. Maybe in a purer form
than many. He cycles as a mode of transport.
It takes incidents like this to force us to evaluate our perspective on cycling.
Do you still ride?
Or are you being taken for a ride?
In the search for performance enhancements, we get caught up in the peripheral
distractions non-essential to the spirit of cycling. The competitions and the need for
speed just to name a few.
Is your focus lost?
We become consumed by the techo-gizmotry of equipment upgrading, training physiology
hocus-pocus and beverage enhanced performance.
Is it eating you too?
We need to rediscover the innocence of a paradise lost. A pleasure rediscovered. A
faith rekindled. Maybe for a change just ride the bike to the shops. Maybe on the next
ride experience the sensation of coasting without hands nor legs.
Do you talk with the people you ride with or are they just sparring partners or
Give your riding the K(iss). I(t). S(imple). S(tupid). of life.
Pure and simple.
Ask yourself: "Do you still ride?" dont kid yourself.