Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?
It always struck me as interesting how the feelings of pain and exhaustion caused by riding can become associated with the bike itself. In a sense, it is easier to think of the bike, a concrete object, as the source of our discomfort than it is of a deficiency in fitness or endurance on our part. We look at the bike and remember how we felt during that hard ride. It's not so much that we literally blame the bicycle, as that the bike becomes a signifier of the pain and exhaustion we experienced. That feeling of wanting to throw it out, or not wanting to look at it, is a way of dealing with frustration over our own limitations. And of course this is in addition to the possibility that the bike itself is at least partly to blame - be it through saddle discomfort, harshness of ride, inappropriate gearing, or bad positioning.
If only mildly, I have had my share of all this. I've overdone it before, to the point of fatigue at the mere sight of a bike that only time away from it could cure.
But I am thinking of this now, because more recently I've experienced something of the opposite. Still feeling battered and drained after an especially tough ride, the morning after I walked past the bike and thought about how much I loved it, and about how much I loved cycling. It was an unexpected reaction, having tumbled out of bed feeling as if a train had run over me. After a day of passion and heartbreak, it feels good to still love it all, and to want to ride again tomorrow.