Words by Chris Klibowitz. Photo by Emily Maye.
The physical act of riding a bicycle is pretty boring. Turning pedals over and over is so automatic that it requires little thought. “It’s like riding a bike,” they say. The mindless repetition is meditative, allowing the mind to wander freely about many things, or nothing at all. In this simplicity, the bicycle can deliver moments that might be impossible under other circumstances. Thousands of pedal strokes are long forgotten, but seared into memories are countless moments—a bird floating alongside, the crackle of gravel under the pressure of tyres, a smile from a stranger in a car, a wave from a friend as they veer off in another direction.
When bicycles consume you, these moments extend beyond the riding. Pre-ride espressos and post-ride shower beers, watching the dirt run off your legs and swirl down the drain. Embrocation application—oh, that scent—and the mental preparation for the impending ride, with the last snap of a bib short cuff on a leg, lined perfectly on a tan line. The last minute mechanical check, and crushing doubt regarding your gear and/or tyre and/or air pressure choices, a thumb squished into a tyre, a last pull of the brake levers. These moments are as much a part of it as the actual riding. They are snapshots of the life of a cyclist.