Joys of Cycling and Beyond Them
Read this, if you are deep
A Cyclist's Cycle
Cycling is so complex a phenomenon that its goals, if one insists searching for them, can't simply be reduced to feelings of joy, fun, satisfaction, and similar. Normally, these desired feelings are experienced in cycling through very opposites to them, namely effort, suffering and pain, thus forming a bipolar whole, a self-sufficient cycle so typical of human mind.
Maximization of Joys
If you cycle in order to gather as much kms per year as possible, or a certain amount of them, say, 10.000 km, then this clearly makes for your cycling goal. But do you enjoy it? One could say that, in an ideal case, one is capable of enjoying every mm of those 10.000 km. By 99,999% of cyclists such a maximization of joys would probably be perceived as desirable, yet highly unrealistic. This bring us to a question, why, actually, cyclists are not capable of absorbing such a high dosage of joy. My point is that while we perceive this limitation as a normal state of our human being, we don't ask ourselves, why is it so.
The Nature of Joys and Our Reaction to It
On a general scale, every joy, once born, is destined to last for some time, and fade away afterwards. The fleeting nature of joys seems to be an inevitable way of our superficial lives, perishable themselves, too. Not to last forever is the only everlasting component of a joy. However phylosophically witty this might sound, it brings absolutely no desolation to a rider who is thirsty for cycling joys.
The very common reaction to the fleetiness of cycling joys is a consumptional approach. A cyclist plainly consumes joys, one after another, without any other perspective in mind than simply prolonging the consumption as long as possible into the future. From maximizing technical specs of a bike to maximizing a »pro« outlook of both a cyclist and a bike; from maximizing kms to maximizing average speed; from maximizing average speed to maximizing watts; from maximizing watts to collecting the steepest climbs; from collecting the steepest climbs to searching for dangerous adventures in unhabitated parts of the world, riding and jumping the narrowest walls, descending 45+ percent rocky mountains; and so on and on...
The Deep Fatigue
For 99,999% of cyclists this is where their story ends... without any clearly perceivable end as such.
What creeps in step by step, however, is mental and bodily saturation, the deep fatigue that does not go away after a week, or two, of rest, but finds its permanent refuge in the hollowness of the joys consumed. In all those tiny little fissures, thousands of them, in body and mind, that might also occure as chronical injuries. The body craks first and, sooner or later, the mind, too, is forced to follow the body's downward curve.
Despite the inevitable fall of joys' lively march, those 99,999% of cyclists do not seem to think of the inevitable, and some even refuse to admit its existence till the very end of their lives. Turned away from the unfamous end of the course they set, they half-willingly choose being bewitched by its magnificent colours of life, adrenalin, oxytocin, testosterone, erythropoetin or whatever other substance money can buy.
Yet 99,999% is not 100%. That 0, 001% is free enough to seek deeper.
Merging the motions of bike, body, and nature, one bodily meditates towards the blossom of one's soul. There is road no more, nor path, there is music of fluffy birch leaves flowing through veines, there is the sun throbbing the pedaling of legs, and pouring its gold into light-shining heart. Feet never touch cyclist's ground, the skies are ready for their whirling rhytm of time, the winds with their far-carrying courses are waiting to mount the wheeled bird upon their cloudy shoulders. When sweet superficial joys are left behind, and our ever-dissatisfied tiny personality finally shuts up, deeper cycling is found on the bosom of peaceful ocean of Love. The Mother is awaiting her child to come home.
Credibility of the Article
The author of the article is Matej Goršič [Matey Gorshich], 41, male, PhD, who has been an active sportive cyclist for 28 years. In his youth, he trained, and competed in, road cycling and athletics. Once finally out of the competitive waters, he started consciously re-defining his understanding and practice of cycling. Today, he feels most at home in a creative mixture of non-competitive, electronic-devices-free, self-exploring, adventurous allroad cycling. During last 3 years, he spent over 25.000 km mostly on tiny gravel roads of South Estonia.