The man I am, his name is Ledimir. Ledimir didn’t want to ride bike today. After back-to-back days of 50+ miles, he was exhausted. His legs were shaking, his mind grew comfortable in rest. But he set out to ride 5 miles. He has been searching for consistency, to find the strength in himself to show up day after day.
To his surprise, 2.5 miles went by before he even looked down at his mile tracker. So he put his head down and pedaled onward on the 4.5-mile loop in his base. He now knows this loop like the back of his hand. He can probably do it with his eyes closed, but there is something about the repetition, the sameness in each lap that has awakened something in him. Perhaps this is his Sisyphean task, to carry the boulder up the hill, watch it roll down, and head on back to retrieve it.
There are no distractions – other than the audiobook playing on his phone, his mind is focused on one thing, pedaling forward. He thinks about the other people in his life, sometimes the pressure to impress and appease is too much, but on the bike none of that matters. He knows that he owes nothing to no one.
He thinks of grieving, loneliness, the thoughts that elude him in his waking hours. He is deadly serious, but also joyful and having fun. Sometimes he speeds up to get a new max speed, changing gears as if it were second nature. He is building a bond with himself, with his bike, with this sport. The writing exercise he is doing today is a practice in dissociation from the ego. I am not tired, Ledimir is. But Ledimir will push forward, and he will write these pages.
Tomorrow he plans to wake up early. His alarms are set for 0400, and he will begin his rides again. The night rider, the early morning rider. There is something in his wait, and he will have to journey on. Good night my Canadian-New York friend for whom this challenge is. I wish that you and Ledimir may meet again soon.