Spoke Talk: Passion for cycling

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— While riding, you wind up discovering something significant about yourself. When you push yourself hard, your mind becomes forcefully cleared. I like to ride fast, descending rapidly through the turns as though I’ve escaped the bounds of gravity. There is no time to think of anything other than the moment, and time has no meaning.

When riding slow, which I enjoy, as well, you see and feel the world and feel very connected to your community and friends. You don’t need to suffer or wear yourself out or need to know how to work on a bike. What you need is passion. Without passion, you are not a rider; you are merely someone who rides a bike.

I feel, and I believe most cyclists do as well, a great kinship with other riders. I feel it when I see youngsters on their first bike and with old folks (I am one now) who still enjoy the ride. I feel it when working on a mountain bike trail with other riders or participating in a fundraising group ride. It feels like a unifying force, and with so many ways to separate all of us — our gender, our status, our age and our shape — that is a good thing.

If we all share this passion for riding, then we share something profound. I believe that as members of Routt County Riders, we reflect this truth, and as we contribute to trail building and maintenance, to help someone on his or her first ride, to participate in a fundraising ride or to volunteer at an event, we help promote our passion for cycling to others.

Pete Wither is a former president of Routt County Riders. He can be reached at pete@mybrokers.com.

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