“I could have climbed that so much better if I had driven it previously”
This was my statement after finishing the Gran Fondo Hincapie piccolo route. And its true. A ride is always easier when you know what’s ahead of you. Gran Fondo Hincapie even provides this cool little cue sheet sticker that shows mileage and elevation for your route (would have been more helpful if I had made sure my GPS was working). The unknown ride is always the hardest, you never know when to push, when to hold back. And I have discovered recently, cycling is not the only place in life where I would like to request a cue sheet.
As I mentioned before in Fear Itself, I am scared. Love frightens me to my very core. No descent or ski run or climb pitch will ever bring the level of terror that speaking my true emotions will. There are times I look at cycling, and wish life (love) was as simple. How easy would it be to have a guide letting you know not to worry, you have a chill ride ahead, and sure there’s going to be a tough part coming up but it will be followed by a really fun heart throbbing adventure. And you will easily roll into the end. I think this way because I have the view that all things come to an end. It is a pessimistic/fatalistic view, but one I have found to provide little disappointment, in theory. But in life like in cycling, we can choose to safely ride the flats for miles, or we can veer into the ups and downs that bring us into a place of fear and joy and ecstasy.
Today, a friend of mine tagged me in a video he posted on Facebook. It took two minutes to break down the idea of love and life and being all in, regardless of consequence. To open ourselves up to pure love and living in the moment, regardless of the future. (Please watch this, its pretty amazing, it brought me to tears in a parking garage: Existential Bummer)
I hate to be the girl who was moved by a video shared on social media, but I was. This guy had my mental state pegged in a an eerie way. I have never gone all in with life. I have always held back, waiting on a cue sheet, wanting a breakdown of what was to come, a guarantee. And I don’t want to be that girl for the rest of my life.
So here I sit, at the crossroads. Tomorrow I face two challenges. One- I want to ride to the top of Dallas Divide and over into a small town called Placerville. The total ride will be around 45 miles, is actually the route of the small loop on Axel Project Bicycle Classic, and a breathtaking ride.The problem being, it will be 40 something degrees and I have never done the full ride, I am scared and alone but determined to do this ride. The second challenge involves my biggest fear of all: my heart. I have been seeing someone for a decent period of time, with no cue sheet to guide me. I strive for some definition, at least a generalization of the ride to come, but have held back in asking for it because there is the deep seated fear that lies within me when I put myself out of my comfort zone, whether it is cross racing or dating, where I am scared I will be told there is no cue sheet awaiting me, that the training has been fun but I am not fit for the real event.
I’m trying, slowly, to break out of my shell, move beyond my comfort zone, to ride the unseen road with confidence. But I realize that I have a responsibility to myself to find out whether the ride is a safe on, worth risking myself on. So I venture out tomorrow, ready to face the cold, ready to fail if that is what comes, ready to put myself out there and try for something beyond what I know for sure. Both these rides will be firsts, with possible obstacles and the chance that I will have to turn back, to not reach the place I hope to be at. But it is time I begin to live beyond the easiness of what I have already tried and achieved. I am ready to ride without a cue sheet showing where it ends, because I am ready to live without the assumption of the end.