Beyond the city, a long winding road awaits. Devoid of cars, the lazy path rolls out in a solid lane of smoothness. Relaxing, a rhythm begins to build.
Riding a bike in a desolate place brings a sense of peace rarely felt elsewhere. It is a point in time where cyclist and bicycle merge into a single entity. The drivetrain’s power combined with energy from human muscles melds into a traveling hybrid comprised of mortal and machine.
Hands are perched on top of the hoods, carefully so as to avoid pressure or numbness – gripping exactly where weight is held without the harshness of tension. Feet are placed precisely on pedals, cleat float casually relaxed for fluid motion. Posterior is positioned for maximum comfort on the saddle’s sweet spot, allowing free movement of the thighs, without rubbing or chafing. Shoulders decompress into a rounded position, muscles with just the right flex steady the bike.
Head held at just the right angle to take the crick out of the neck and alleviate the pang of fatigue running across the top of the shoulder. Lungs fall into the rhythm of the pedal stroke. As contracting quadriceps mimic the movement of the bike, the mind begins to ease into a world removed from external reality.
Thoughts become liquid and loud. The mind encloses on itself as the cyclist retreats into a realm of oneness with the bike.
Away she rides, in a milieu of motion, surrounded by the sound of a beating heart and exhaled breath, along with the chant of the chain as it rotates around and around and around, moving the bike in a systematic fashion along an invisible line created by perfect balance.
Memories of distant places, times past and present pass fleetingly like scenes from an ageless movie. Words to oneself filling the void of silence as the cyclist rides mechanically, unaware of the bike beneath her.
She is floating through a cosmos outside of time and place, an orbit revolving through perpetuity, cutting through air, gliding into outer space. Nothing can penetrate this minute microcosm, reminiscent of a universe that does not yet exist. There is just the wind embracing a cyclist’s silhouette and the audible air rushing through helmet vents – too much like a turbine engine roaring above one’s head.
Instinct takes over. Objects, moving and stationary, are perceived and reacted to without anticipation or reason. Subconsciousness controls the ride while the rider has retreated from the mundane.
It is a route she has ridden repeatedly. The bike knows the way. It remembers every pothole, every shard of glass, where roadkill was spotted recently. It maneuvers impeccably, as if under its own command.
For an undefinable period this condition exists, nourishing itself with the undiluted joy of movement until something foreign forces the bike to stop, bringing it all to a screeching halt.