This I Believe

Rodney - State College, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 21, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: sports

I am a true supporter of self-propulsion. My preferred method: the bicycle. I will take skateboards, long boards, running shoes, or even unicycles, but bicycles are by far my favorite.

Simply put, there are few things better than the open road in front of me, two wheels rolling over warm pavement below me, and the sun at my back. All alone on the open road and I could not be happier. The bicycle, like a trusted companion, continues to defy gravity and, on the good days, the omni-lurking pavement snakes that desire to puncture my bicycle’s inner tubes.

Most of what I ever really needed to know has been exemplified through bike riding. I believe many a life lesson can be gained with time spent above those revolving wheels. Lesson one: balance is the key. The balancing act that I perform at a nice pace of 19 miles an hour can be transposed to many of the dichotomies of life, like work and play for example.

Lesson two: know when to stand up. When life comes at you like a deep descent over slick boulders, stand up, bend slightly at the knees and hold on. On the other hand, when the hills become too much to handle, stand up and try to get in those last pedal strokes to make it to the top. This is one lesson I still need practice with.

The third lesson: consider the road less traveled. Some of my most memorable rides have come on a whim to take a new route home. I have taken this lesson and attempted to apply it to real life. I have found that playing it safe is always easier at the time but regrettable down the road.

Lesson four: Big hills always look worse from far away.

Lesson five: One is fun but a group can be better. Group rides provide the opportunity to learn new skills, routes, and friends. I try to apply the tactics of group riding to team work in the real world. In the perfect group ride, each rider takes a turn leading the pack while the others ride right on their rear wheel enjoying the benefits of drafting. I think this way of working is a great method for approaching a group task.

Lesson six comes from a quote I once read in a cycling magazine; “the shortest distance between two points is a bunch of circles.” To sum up what that means to me, there is no easy way out of a problem. In life’s journey it is crucial to understand that the only way to win the race is pedaling my heart out. I cannot wait to get back on my bike, and with a young and open mind, find out what she will teach me today.

I believe in two wheels, a frame, and one pair of tired legs.