Bicycling (USA)

I love to ride light on gravel or dirt, with my weight a little more behind the bottom bracket than usual but without planting the rear wheel, and with a loose rein on the bar, so the bike can pretty much go where it wants to but doesn’t run out from unde

- Bill Strickland RIDER-IN-CHIEF

I love that feeling, that letting go but being there. I love that I can trust the bike, and I love even more that after all these years I have come to a place where I can trust the biking, which is a whole different thing. I love to take bad lines on the bad stuff sometimes, for fun, or for my own instructio­n, or sometimes to show to the riders behind me something about the way we are going or the way we are riding or maybe something about the way my life is going, or to feel like I’m doing my own thing, or for the beauty of keeping up on the worse line with the people on the good line, or sometimes just because I am too tired to care and I love that sometimes that is when I do some of my best riding of the day. I love to drift the rear wheel and I love mostly being able to get it to hook up and being okay with the consequenc­e when I can’t. I love that on a ride made up of mixed surfaces my riding friends and I call the short sections of dirt or gravel or grass or mud secteurs because why not admit the fantasy, and I love that when we hit a secteur we go faster than we were going on pavement, because why not chase the fantasy. I love to stop on a good old dirt road that used to be a goat path and in the sun or the shade depending on the day and the needs of my soul reach back and pull a sandwich from my jersey pocket and unwrap the wax paper and eat one or two of the triangular quarters I made back home, and I love that not every sandwich I eat that way but a hell of a lot of them are the best sandwich I have ever had or ever will have. I love how that is impossible but also ordinary, is a divine mystery but a simple reality, and I love that the same is true of riding, and of us.

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