/ cycling

Escape

From "The Escape Artist":

The road makes a hard bend to the right and then straightens to point directly downhill to the valley floor. If the surface is dry and you are running on good tyres, if the way is clear and you can use the width of the road, if you have all your courage and your wits about you, you can make it round that curve without touching the brakes. You hit forty-five, fifty, right at the apex. You cannot see the exit and it is crucial to pick the right line. If you start running out of road, the camber will be against you, shrugging you off the blacktop. Once committed to a line, it is too late to use the brakes. To crash at this speed is unthinkable.

And then, in a split second, you are round and free... You have taken flight.

Matt Seaton's book The Escape Artist is one of the few books I've read more than once, and I read parts of it again today, as low clouds and snow visited us again here in Boulder. Matt's descriptions of the cycling subculture and the joy of cycling in general are wonderful, and his integration of his Real Life with his cycling story is simply fantastic. Matt's book was inspiring when I first read it, as a commuter train-bound rat race runner. Now that I am back into the cycling world, Matt's book and his words hold a newfound meaning, and connect to a deep love of bicycles that I have -- and have had since I was five years old. Living in Boulder and brushing up against some of the legends of US cycling, having a neighbor who is actually using his USCF mechanic's license -- the same one I got in 1991 -- living next to the Rocky Mountains, riding my bikes against and in the amazingly beautiful backdrop of these humbling formations; once again, I'll say it: I can't believe I live here.