Will I keep cycling? That’s a question many of you have been asking me since my accident. I guess it’s a reasonable question, I’ve been in two cycling accidents so far, and on the surface have had my fair share of bad luck with cycling. My recent accident where I had a head on collision with a car who failed to see me could be seen by some as a sign to hang up the cycling cleats and call it quits on this “dangerous” sport. But here’s what I say to that.
There are risks and rewards for everything in life. Everything. The best most relatable analogy would probably be the art of love. Being in love, and loving someone else is a vulnerable dangerous act. It involves many risks. Every time you put your heart on the line, you risk it being torn to shreds, you risk betrayal, hurt, deceit, and heartbreak. And we all know those risks going into it, so if one of those risks do come true, and we get our heart broken, that doesn’t mean we’re just going to give up on love and live the rest of our lives with a stone heart. Well I mean, I guess you could do that, and some people do, but most of us are persistant enough and believe in the rewards of love enough to venture out again and risk it all for love.
So I apply the same philosophy with cycling, although cycling involves many controllable and uncontrollable risks, I knew that going into it. I knew it was a possibility that a car could hit me, and even now I know that there’s always a chance that I could fall descending, fail to brake early enough on a turn, slip out on gravel etc... BUT to me the rewards of cycling are worth those risks. We all risk things for what we love, and I just love the freedom and lifestyle of cycling. And on the surface it’s brought me much greif in terms of my accidents, but what you don’t see is all the hours and hours of bliss it’s brought me. All the moments of utter joy, the feeling of pushing myself on a climb utterly present and aware of my burning muscles, the sweat on my eyelid, and the scorching sun on my back, and loving every second of it. All the times of descending down a hill feeling the wind caress my face, feeling free as a bird. All the days spent on my bike beside some of my greatest friends exploring and adventuring together. All the lessons that biking has taught me about perseverance, pain, meditation, and being present. All the opportunities, friendships, and experiences that I’ve gained because of biking. Those are the reasons I bike, and those are the reasons I will continue to bike, because even though I’ve had my fair share of greif from cycling, I’ve had MORE than my fair share of joy and bliss from it as well. And in comparison that greatly outweighs any of the negatives I’ve expereincedfrom biking. And to be honest, I can’t even call them negatives because they’ve all just been learning opportunities and lessons.
We all have a responsibility to ourselves to live our lives according to what makes us happy, and if we happen to love something that involves risks, I say it’s still our duty to ourselves to go for it. Because a “safe” “secure” mediocre life devoid of things that I LOVE in my opinion is my worst nightmare. I would rather risk a cycling accident everyday, than live the rest of my life without biking. So in terms with the analogy of love, what would you rather? Live your life without ever truly opening yourself up to loving others and being loved? Or risk heartbreak for the joys of love? It’s a matter of priorities; do you prioritize a risk free life? Or a happy one?