What I like most in the biking that I do these days is not the ride, not roads, not the sun on my skin. I just love and I dare to say that in capital, I just L O V E my head.
Here is where it all started, last year I bought myself a gift. This fancy milkgreen mountainbike and I was taking it out for a ride. It took some obstacles for me to get it so far, since I had to wear bikepants. These pants have this thing in them that feels as if you are wearing a pamper. Top that with it being insanely tight and what you have is discomfort beyond measure, in the head that is, for my behind it is the best that can happen.
Here I am a woman in her thirties, living her second life, convinced to make the best out of it, in a tight pair of pants, on a huge mountainbike, in a country flat as my chest. No technical skills what so ever, not even mentioning my physical condition, as at the tinme I was still smoking.
Needless to say that my career as a mountainbiker did not reach the limitlessness (is this spelled correct?) of the.... I cannot find the words.
Let me describe what went on. In my head I was riding mountains, I was fast, I was making those jumps you see on the cover of bike magazines. Where in fact, my ass was covered with mudd on just one side, because I had forgotten that my feet were attached to the pedals. Every twenty minutes I had to stop for a fag, a smoke or a sig.
What I did have at the time was perserverance. It did not matter what the weather was like, I was on that bike, riding. I truly found happiness in those still hours on my bike, seeking to find what I call "city's end".
My friend gave me a second bike, a steel Gazelle roadbike form the eighties, it was then that I discovered what biking could be. This old skool bike with it's thin tires, riding it felt like dancing, like sitting on the back of a swan. Riding that bike was freedom.
So my mean green mountain biking machine found its way to the attic and I became a roadbiker.
Due to several different events I could not continue riding and before I knew it it was summer and my bikes were to be found under a grey layer of dust.
What gave me a kickstart was Le Tour de France. This is where the headgame begins. After having these men ride in my livingroom, right through my tv screen, I became one of them. Their battle was mine and my battle was theirs, yellow never looked as good on me as in those days, mont ventoux became my waterloo. The drama, the suffering, the battle and the constant pressure. By now I am mentally married to Contador, wearing the white sweater of Schleck, supporting LIVESTRONG on my Trekbike to be.
All of that is in my head, in fact I am still the thirty something year old woman who just started riding.
So I got myself a new bike, a nice rigid frame and some new bike pants (3 pairs and shoes and a helmet, new socks, a jacket, more socks and more and more) and I bike about four times a week, with my dear friend Mira. And the image I have of me on the bike is the image I have gotten to know so well while watching my husband to be, Contador, in Le Tour, while watching the eyes of the eagle Armstrong.
So today I decided to make some pictures....
I look Goofy!
It truly is all in my head. It is that head that gives me the strenght to continue when my legs are tired and hurting, to step on that bike even when my back hurts. But boy do I need to adjust that mental image of how I look on the bike, or I simply have a long way to go.
Fact I love biking!
Fact I love the pain of biking!
Fact I love the battle in my head!
The image that I have of myself, it might not be correct, only it gives me the strenght to continue, to do whatever it takes, to fully go for it.
Today an old man passed me on his bike, grey hair and all, I admired him, with biking the image in the head is very important as it moves the body, that guy on the outside looked old, his inside might just be just as sharp looking as the image I have in my head.
It tells me a lot. In life I have learned to bring the body, the mind and heart will follow, only the idea the bring the body comes from the head, it is there that the decission is made to follow the heart.
Today I decided to follow my heart and to bring the body into the direction that it needs to go.... forward.
Biking simply is more than just pushing the pedals as fast as you can.
And the mountainbike? I sold it this weekend.