What a crazy 7 and a half months it’s been, both in terms of cycling and otherwise! Let’s just say it included a bike break down in traffic (luckily with no injuries or falls!), completing and defending Ph.D. exams, a new bike acquisition (to replace the broken one), and our car suddenly and unexpectedly bursting into flames (at least bikes don’t do that!).
I’ve been riding as much as I can now that the weather’s warmed up, and I can’t wait until this quarter ends so that I can get more time in the saddle. I’m training for a 100km (about 64 miles) ride in July, and I’m SO excited!
For now, here’s a recent poem I wrote about cycling.
For a moment, you agree with them.
At the end of a long day,
at the end of a long week,
the muscle you have left is barely enough
to push off of the couch,
to see if you have reached the point of dizzy, delirious exhaustion.
as you wriggle into spandex,
zip up your jersey
velcro your gloves, clip your chinstrap into place,
you remember the blooming outside, the cottonwood swirling around you.
You plod up the stairs to get a handkerchief to clear lungs and nose,
and you agree with them.
For a singular moment, you become an echo,
Why are you doing this to yourself?
As you coax the water bottle into the cage,
you notice your thighs, the undeniable
muscle boasting itself above the outside of each knee.
You’re learning your body from the legs up.
And your legs
want to move.
On the street, as you slip your feet into cages,
you think of the next step.
The scar tissue in your right knee twinges,
reminding you of the crash two years ago.
The next step, it says,
But in the saddle, there is no doubt –
only the desire to lock yourself in here,
to be more thoroughly attached.
You exhale their questions, the moment of doubt,
the exhaustion, the scar tissue, the terrorjoy of speed and falling.
You exhale your legs like tree trunks, and the whirling puffs of cottonwood,
because always, with that first push,
that first (r)evolution,
you are home again.
And so you ride anyway.
©2012, Sarah T. Carnahan
Please do not distribute or share poem outside of this blog post without permission.