(This post is compliments of Speedvagen Team racer and all-around amazing person, Laura Winberry. Keep an eye out for more of her writing here this summer.)
Everything has a natural beginning, middle and end. I mean absolutely, everything. Relationships. Lifespans. Loves and lessons. Yesterday was the first time since Japan (November) that I got on my Speedvagen. That golden wink of a goddess. It’s funny, how memory works. It attaches itself to certain things. Or, vice versa. Smells. Sounds. Random pieces of daily interactions. Bicycles. Yesterday brought this to my attention, yet again.
Gliding towards the newly wetted trails, it all came rushing back to me. Everything from the previous ’cross season, my first with Speedvagen. Every mass start. Each corner taken with too much speed. All the bells. All the grit, travel, cheer. All the screw-ups and triumphs. The dropped chains, laughter. Every sprint. Moment of heartbreak, sublimity, effort. Of pelting rain. Of sun. Of silence. All the memories embedded in this golden ray of a bike just started flinging themselves at me. Like caked earth releasing itself from tubulars once they hit pavement, the memories flicked up and pinged at my glasses. The bike’s been through it all. My body’s been through it all. And when it comes down to it, neither one will let the other forget. Beginning, middle, or end.
And perhaps, it’s about knowing where you stand in the process. Pedaling around on this memory-absorbent craft, hearing the click of shifts, sweetness and precipitation invading my senses, a lot came flooding in. Mostly about where I’ve been, where I’m at, and where I’m going. The thing is, we have transitions within the transitions. Stages within the stages. Sometimes we think we know where we’re at. Then life reminds us we really don’t have the grasp we thought we did. And that’s fine. So long as we can ride our bikes. I’m kidding (sort of). Regardless, I feel confident in saying that things have only just begun. Call it a renaissance. Call it the middle of the beginning of something. Either way, I like it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Perhaps that’s what it’s about. Thanks, life. Thanks, bike.