What drew me to bike racing as a sport was the risk of fast, circuitous descents, bikes kept up only by small rubber tires and a will to go as fast as possible. Propelled only by your legs and your heart and your lungs, the accomplishment of getting up a long climb merely piques the thrill of racing down the other side or railing corners in tight bunches under the floodlights at twilight criteriums. Feeling like a rock star but also sometimes crumpled in a heap of bikes.
But, the adventure that comes with being an elite level bike racer kept me in the sport more than any other chase.
Travelling in a van with a bunch of other adventurers, going from town to town, race to race, provided me an opportunity to break the ad nauseum office life drenched in sterility, buzz words, emails, and needless, unhealthy sedentism.
It is the travel that stimulates most of us, even if it’s to places in the middle of nowhere. Nobody ever gets to see the culture of the middle of nowhere; to appreciate that people in the middle of nowhere are you and me whether in a small farm town in Mexico or the United States. They come out to watch us bike racers try to reach the finish line quickly and before the others or merely before the time cut. They’re all racing.
I am doing the least rational thing I've ever done and leaving my steady job as an editor. I enjoyed the work, to some degree, the educational mission. But I was giving 60% to two occupations, and only one was my passion. At 120% capacity I was too tired to do anything. I've lived, up to this point, a relatively risk averse life. I've never truly failed at something because I've never had a chance to truly fail. Well, it's time to give my self a chance to do that in the binary world of bike racing. Though, my focus will now be on other projects and life goals as well so I won't be abandoning an intellectual world for a purely athletic one. Those two aren't mutually exclusive, anyway. I can only be a twenty-something once. Time to run.
But, perhaps, I can't fail, because I'm seeking the adventure, a simultaneous egress and entrance.
So I leave to go race my bike.
I will spend my time entering numbers into boxes at an office job, when it comes to it. Yet, until I find a vocation that I can chase with the same voracity as cycling, blinders on, cycling will be my endless, boundless commission.