Get Up

The Selection: Get Up, by Bill Strickland:

It helped somehow, goofing around. All of us, anyone who rides, normalizes the risk of being on a bike. In a pack, there is something else on top of that, the need to find a way to acknowledge the danger without either glamorizing or dismissing it—either of which, we all know, courts its more wrathful incarnation. When the danger does arrive, I have been taught by my elders and betters and fasters, you entertain it with a kind of respectful insouciance.

[True. But danger doesn’t arrive. It’s part of the system and crashes happen. And once you climb on a bike it’s almost guaranteed. It’s not always epic. Sometimes it’s just that heartbreaking flop onto your side because you failed to clip out and then panicked. Other times… it’s the real deal. I think about this almost every time I’m going down a hill quickly. I certainly thought about it last Sunday when I was doing 37MPH and saw down the hill a little bit that the strong rains had washed a stream of gravel across the road (I had ridden up the other side of the hill). I picked a line, and let the bike float and all was well. But my first thought was “wow, this is gonna suck”. Danger’s always there—it’s built into the system.]

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