Mortality

Before I get to the main reason I’m writing, I need to give a little back story. A few weeks ago I decided to actually re-read something I wrote. For me this is actually pretty unusual as I normally write and just leave it alone.

So when I went back to read this entry of mine, I couldn’t find it. I started going back to see what was the last thing that I had written. It turns out I hadn’t written anything for quite some time. That’s not exactly true though. I feel as if I’ve written maybe 8 to 10 entries since what was posted and showing. There weren’t hidden drafts or anything. It turns out though I think most of these entries were written when I was sleeping. Not that I was sleep writing. But I was dreaming that I was blogging but never actually wrote them in real life. I can only hope that they were as good as I remember in my dreams. Moving on I’ll pinch myself before writing this and hopefully in a dream state I can’t really do that without waking up, otherwise this is going into the ether also.

So mortality. We feel it. We think about it. We make jokes about it.

We might have scraped by in an accident and tell ourselves that we were lucky, that it was a close one. Perhaps not as dire but just as emotional I felt my mortality today. I wasn’t doing anything heroic or wonderful. Nothing really even that exciting.

I decided to take my bicycle out for a ride.

Most the time my bicycle stays in the garage on a bike trainer. It’s in front of the TV so I can just have on maybe a movie or a show while I’m riding. It certainly doesn’t feel the same as if I was riding outdoors. Almost like I was in the gym. For anybody who does Pokémon go you don’t collect anything when you ride inside.

Years ago I donated my bicycle from college to a friend’s teen, but I can’t remember who it was. After donating it I upgraded my bike to a Novara with 700cc wheels. Just wide enough to ride on the road. The tires are not as thin as a road bike but definitely not as thick as what I used to use for going up and down sidewalks and stairs.

It’s a good commuter bike. I’ve had it now for several years and it’s just fine to me. I did upgrade the seat of course because the original was really uncomfortable.

On the bike trainer it’s actually pretty stable. The back wheel is locked in and it sits against the motor. The front wheel is loose but I have blocks around it to keep it from moving also.

Taking it outside today didn’t seem like it would be such a big issue. I think the hardest thing was finding the right valve to refill the tires with.

If you haven’t been on a bicycle for a while especially with wheels this thin, I encourage you to try it again but perhaps with a good friend. I honestly thought my life was in jeopardy. The bike felt shaky and I felt shaky. I’m not sure if my shakiness was from not having ridden for a while or from fear. There was some dirt and some rocks on the bike path. It was otherwise paved. Going at faster speeds I was actually starting to get worried if I would wipe. Would I end up dead in the ravine? What will my body feel like all mangled and banged up? I’m definitely not as young and in shape as I used to be. The few times that I got wobbly I could feel my heart pumping even harder.

I kept going though. I know I need the exercise. It’s why I’m fat to begin with. I also wanted to scout out some locations I could put a gopro to record the clouds coming over the mountains.

With the extra weight I’ve put on I truly felt the tires were being compressed more than I wanted them to be. Although honestly they could probably handle it. But I still turned around and headed back home after an hour. Sadly I really hadn’t gone very far. I had taken pauses from time to time to look at angles and places I could put a gopro and keep it hidden. Calculating from the map it looks like it was only about 4 miles. It felt a whole lot longer than that by how much my legs were burning.

Even riding back I could feel like my life was in my hands. Or perhaps I should say not in my hands but in a supernatural being’s. The hand of God or the hand of Death I’m not really sure. I felt like there was something divine keeping me up on that bicycle. Thankfully I made it home.

I didn’t put the bike back on the trainer. I need to relive this experience hopefully not with the same emotions. Getting into shape will hopefully help my balance and subsequent shakiness. And then I won’t feel so scared on the bicycle, because honestly no one should feel scared riding a bicycle, unless you’re one of those Olympic riders going way too fast on those insane inclines.

This weekend happens to be free at the national parks. Take your bicycle out and enjoy some good weather. Oh and try not to get gored by any bison or moose.

-SFA

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