Posted by: Stu | February 22, 2011

Lost and Found

Ghost Bikes, originally uploaded by StoooPotter.

Not really sure where to start this post, so I may ramble a bit. I suppose this post is really more of a way of getting my thoughts down, but then that’s what blogging is in general I guess.

I’ve been going through some stuff of late that causes you to think a lot of things through. I’ve also been chatting to some other like minded cyclists, some more like minded than I thought as it turns out. Anyway, where to start…

Why ride bikes?

There’s no denying it, riding bikes is great. Lots of people do it, lots of people love it, for lots of different reasons. I’d like to simplify it a little. Firstly, let’s separate bike riders, cyclists, from “people who own a bike”… people who sometimes ride to work, or the shops. I’m not trying to be snobbish about it, it’s just that some people ride a bike simply because it’s a practicality and not a passion. In this post I’m mainly thinking along the lines of fanatical bike riders, like me. These could be serious roadies, mountain bikers, or just folk who commute to work everyday no matter what the weather or distance…. I’m also not talking about those with a vendetta against cars and other road users, those who cycle to make a point. I’m talking about the mentality that drives us to keep riding, the reason why we should ride bikes, why we have to ride bikes.

I’ve never seen cycling as a hobby, it’s part of who I am, I can’t imagine it not being part of my life… but why is that?

My life, like most peoples I guess, has been fairly full of ups and downs and I generally like it like that. I like big highs and big moments of excitement and joy, but life is all about contrast and you don’t really get those feelings unless you accept some occasional lows too. Sometimes those lows are tough to climb out of, I feel disconnected and without focus, like losing your place on a page and then not being able to remember why you were reading it in the first place. Those moments when you feel like everything is charging past you in a fuss and you’re just standing still, looking for where to go and trying to find the energy to move forward again, lost.

Riding bikes is where I find focus. There’s something about the need to keep pedalling, to keep moving forward, that helps align your thoughts. You don’t have time to get too emotional, though your state of mind can be channelled through how you ride; sometimes hard and aggressive, sometimes relaxed and playful… but you have to stay focused on two main things, keep the wheels pointing where you want to go and keep the pedals turning. These two things become subconscious, they become like breathing, when you’re really in the zone your mind becomes free again. That feeling is incredible, like you can keep going forever, like you can go anywhere you want. This is why we do it. It’s just you and your bike, you don’t need to stop for fuel, you don’t need to stop for anything. The more energy you put in, there more you get back, that feeling is free, you’re free, your found.

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Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stuart Potter, Matt. Matt said: RT @stooopot: Lost and Found http://wp.me/pYgEd-3C […]

  2. A lovely post and so true.


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