You’ve seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
And so, you’ve seen the fantastic sequence at the end of the film when Indiana has to make his way through a series of obstacles. “A penitent man… kneels!” It’s a harrowing scene that culminates with him stepping into a vast gap—a leap of faith. Of course, as he takes that step, and no doubt you were on the edge of your seat when he did, he steps onto solid ground. Spanning the void is a narrow stone bridge that leads him into the chamber of the holy grail.
It’s brilliant filmmaking.
I’ve been thinking about such leaps recently. Both within and out of the bike realm. And as such, I have realized—once again—that the line separating life and bike is rather blurry, smudged, and, like the border between Oman and Saudia Arabia, undefined. That is, those leaps that we have all taken on the bike are kindred to those we have all taken off of the bike. How often do we rely on the courage or the strength that we summoned from the deep during that first 100 mile ride, or first expert level race, when faced with a new, daunting challenge in our family or professional lives? And how often do we draw inspiration while on the bike from moments—or people—that have little or nothing to do with pedaling or singletrack?
And I wonder if the reason I am drawn to giant, daunting, ridiculous bike rides has something to do with needing that extra reinforcement to help ppush and pull me through the more tedious, necessary burdens that inevitably engulf our every day existence. Perhaps just knowing that such rides exist, and that every so often I can participate—and even finish—one is enough fuel to power me through weeks or months of uninspiring mundanity, or professional uncertainty.
Or, as I wondered aloud to my wife, “maybe I will come home from Dixie with some answers”.
Even if I am unsure what the questions are.
But the point lies in taking that step. I can analyze and scrutinize and deliberate and think. Or, I can simply: do.
And therein lies the answer. Do.
I’ve bemoaned certain realities recently. Which is, if you have not tried doing so, extremely ineffective. In fact, there is an old saying you might be familiar with: Those who cannot do, bemoan. Or, at least, it goes something like that. And while a spectacular ride through spectacular mountain country is hardly something that will change the world, it will change my world. And right now, I need some changes—even if they are largely internal.
But that doesn’t mean that an external change isn’t helpful either.
Which is why I bought a Superfly this morning.