I love my bike (s) because when I ride nothing exists outside the ride. I love it because it makes me feel strong; I don’t feel fat, I don’t think about how I look, I don’t have to worry about putting on makeup – I am comfy in my cycling clothes, I am me.
My bike is a gateway to travel, to meeting new people, a stress reliever, and my way of life.
The other day I got ready to go out to a wedding, I did my hair, my makeup and made an effort with my clothes. I KNOW I’m not fat, but I felt awful, the clothes were too tight, I felt uncomfortable. It’s not who I am. It made me think about riding, how everything falls away when you ride, when the only thing that matters is what’s unfolding before you. The elation after finally getting up the climb after you felt you couldn’t go on, the adrenaline rush when you hit a new feature, or ride a gnarly section. The rush of the wind, the breath with each pedal stroke, the changing surroundings. Empowered, on a high you can only get from riding.
That is who I am, the girl who heads out to meet with friends, the one who doesn’t worry about what she’s eating because she’s riding her bike, and not worrying about that slice of cake after a day on the trail. The girl who loves the varied friend group she now has, the friends from all walks of life – there is no pigeon hole, the friends are all ages, they have different jobs, they are people I probably wouldn’t know if it weren’t for the shared love of bikes, but I’m glad I do, they enrich my life.
I love my bike because it changed my life, it’s enabled me to see new things, meet amazing people, allows me to do something I love for work; it has become my life.
Title Photo: Saskia Dugon