Push, Push; Don’t Stop
The following is transcribed from the narration of a short film called “Les Petits Cyclistes”. It beautifully describes the way riding a bike can consume you in the moment and let you forget all of your troubles in life. Read it below, or watch the film.
“When you take the bike out initially and you’re just kinda spinning your legs and it’s not physically taxing at that point; and you can feel it washing away that little bit of money issues or stress or whatever in the back of your mind. It’s still there, you know, but you can feel your legs are moving and your heart rate is a little bit higher—you know your breathing is a bit more labored and it starts to become less and less of a factor in the operation of your brain—the constant in your mind.
“And then you start to focus more on the physical side of what you’re doing. It’s like, ‘ok, so my heart rate is really quite high now, I’m starting to work, you know, I’m starting to have difficulty breathing; I can feel that little bit of soreness in my legs.’ And that’s when a performance element takes over and you think, ‘Actually, I’m going quite fast here. I really want to go faster than I did last time.’ So you start to push.
“And then, the combination of all those things, the fact that you’re concentrating on how your legs are feeling and your breathing and making sure that you get low on the bike so you’re not creating a big profile that the wind isn’t slowing you down…
“It replaces all of those things that you were worried about before—to the point that when you’re going as fast as you can go—you’ve got this pain in your legs and you really want to stop—the only think you can think about is keeping going, is not stopping, and making sure that you’re going as fast as you possibly can. Sometimes you’ll even get tunnel vision, like if you go out with somebody else and they’re really, really push you and all you can see is that 2cm of tire in front of you and the tarmac just whizzing underneath you. Literally, if there was pink elephants stood in a row down the side of the road you would have no idea because all you’re focused on is: push, push, don’t stop; keep going.”