Ode to the Bike

Adam Becker University of Edinburgh, Scotland


May 19, 2017

Triglav National Park

You don’t need a guide
when you’re trying to get lost
an orange road bike
jumping, stiff along country roads
dropped handlebars
lock you in place
your wheels buzz content

I left Bled, flying
road unwinding
dodging chickens clucking
through the small town streets

the national park welcomed me like an old friend
a new friend
unpronounceable names
cultural ignorance

the misty valley was quiet
no music but the whir of wind
no distractions but
the silence of a forest
a cottage passed in a blur
I felt the weight of wilderness
a turquoise stream rolled on the right
incomprehensible color
caribbean clarity
turning the commonplace into a fairytale
a fairyland

the feeling of being able to workout again
to push
reckless locomotion
produced from within
tapping into the wild, the physical
eyes wide, dilated pupils
legs like steel cables
made, seemingly,
just for today
a lifetime spent preparing
for a bike ride

working the hills like a madman
fueling injury-aggression into
pumping pistons
the anger melting to appreciation
to simply flying along
a cliché “whoop” slips unintentionally from my smiling lips as I hit tear-causing speeds
on absurd downhills

this is living