The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. ~ Christopher Morley
When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day’s sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay’s call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else’s heart. ~ Diane Ackerman
Life is like riding a bicycle – in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~ Albert Einstein
After your first day of cycling, one dream is inevitable. A memory of motion lingers in the muscles of your legs, and round and round they seem to go. You ride through Dreamland on wonderful dream bicycles that change and grow. ~ H.G. Wells, The Wheels of Chance
The pleasure of the moment. In retrospect, a sense of warmth. The night turning to morning …
I was very excited about waking up at 6:30 a.m. to watch stage 9 of the Tour de France. The stage is a 168.5 km trek through the Pyrenees in Southern France. For me the mountain stages are the most exhilarating of all the various stages. The trek from Saint Girons to Bagneres de Bigorre includes four category one climbs, each over 5000 feet and a category 2 climb. A test of man and machine. I believe that climbing is my best skill as a rider, and I certainly can relate to the difficulty inherent to climbing. Whether it is mountain biking or road biking, I love the challenge. Climbing is very meditative; slow and methodical. One has to really focus inward. On the breath, and on the movement of the body. Everything is recorded over and over again. Sometimes with much pain. Physically and mentally is can be quite exhausting, but in the end very rewarding. There is a certain ‘Peacetime’ when the silence of nature, movement and breath come together. An inner bliss without end.
This is a morning workout and practice run on a lake under construction in my home town of Gray Court, SC. This was my first exploration of this terrain. Keeping it simple. A mix of soft and hard ground. Lots of rocks, making for a lot vibration moving through the body (I actually injured my left forearm from a violent vibration sustained while descending one of the slopes). It has taken a few months for it to heal. But I love the locale it looks and feels other-worldly. And being that it is less than 5 minutes away from my home, it provides a nice work out in preparation for the mountain trails. Music by glitch master Alva Noto. The video itself has little processing and no editing.
A very good read for the needed support of women’ cycling and its growth.
Guest Piece, Written by: Jason
“Women’s sports are so boring!” I have heard this many times throughout my life, mostly stated by men. This is simply idiotic. But, before I begin to explain why, let me first explain what inspired me to write this post.
Lance Armstrong and the Whole Doping Thing
As everyone knows, there has been a lot of question about the future of professional cycling due in large part to the recent Lance Armstrong affair. After the initial USADA report was released, a slew of other problems have presented themselves to the men’s pro ranks. Rabobank, a longtime sponsor of cycling, has decided to withdraw their support of all cycling beginning with the coming season. Some of Rabobank’s pro cyclocross and amateur sponsorship will remain in place, but men’s and women’s pro road and mountain bike teams will cease to exist in the coming seasons. If that…
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One of the more exciting elements of mountain biking is going around in circles. Yes, the loop. Four miles. Eight miles. Sixteen miles. Ascending then descending. Round and round. Flashing by beautiful vistas; man-made lakes, mountain summits, and ridges. All swirling by your mind’s eye, without pause to the rewind. Let’s play on a Fall day … the loop de loop.
turn back the time
and remember when
– or how
you found the meaning
of things … misunderstood
forward in time
in the day’s (f)all
in Autumn’s call
the rewind …
of place … memory
and state of mind
After an hour of exploring the various ups and downs of the terrain, Nancy feels the need for a pause in play. Taking a moment to catch her breath and letting the beauty of the day sink it. Autumn has a way of bringing moments to a standstill. Allowing us to embrace a much-needed connection with ourselves. Its transformational essence can stimulate our senses and bring joy to our lives. Let’s pause in play and fall in love with the day.
Well here I am around noon today. My Trek bike and I are stationary on the ridge of a man-made lake which is under construction. Preparing for the first descent. It is a beautiful Fall day indeed. Mild temperatures and blue sunny skies. Mesmerizing and zen-like. Music on my Ipod; trance-like and meditative. Time to play. Lets start.
Today in my little town, I am going to have a some fun. I am about to head out to the Gray Court Park. Gray Court, South Carolina is a small one-light historic town established in 1899. It has taken over a century to build a major park. Construction has begun on a man-made lake. A perfect place while under construction for some free-style mountain biking training. The slopes of the lake are varied; some are steep, tightly packed, others rocky and treacherous. What a find. And it is located just a few minutes from my house. This will provide many hours of practice during the Fall and Winter for myself and my riding partner. I will snap some photos and video footage to post later.
The leaves will soon be changing
Falling on unyielding trails
The air crisp and chilled
Sweeping through barren trees
And the lightly falling snow
Fall on the mountain –
Our bikes in fluid motion