Friday, May 15, 2009

Snap the Leash

You ever feel like you’re trudging throught the day-to-day with a tether lashed to your back? Holding the other end of the leash is every person to whom you are in any way responsible. Your boss. Your co-workers. Your clients or customers. Your parents, who keep hinting that you could visit a little more often. Your in-laws, who keep hinting that your spouse could visit a little more often. Your spouse – much as you love him or her, and wouldn’t change a thing, there’s a leash there, too, yes?

Here’s what you do: Find a fine spring afternoon. Sneak out of work early. Get on your bike. Start riding. Don’t stop.

Ride so far (or so fast, if you prefer) that you start to feel the leash going taut, pulling backwards on you. Pedaling gets a little harder. (Some people call this a “hill” or an “interval.” Don’t let them fool you. It’s the leash.) Behind you, the leash goes zoing-oing-oing, about an a E above middle C, as you reach the outer limit of the time and space meted out to you by the leash-holders.

Now, let’s be clear: Those parties are not going to relinquish their end of the tether. It’s down to you: Do you give in, turn around, in order to return some slack to the leash?Or do you bash out one more pedal stroke, and finally hear that SNAP you’ve been unconsciously craving for days? Your vision clears. You feel lighter. You can ride as far as you like; physical abilities are no longer pertinent here. Your sleepless nights and tense days fall away, the blue of the sky opens up at the top of the hill, eager to swallow you as you pedal off into thin air.

There is only one May per year. Go snap the leash.


No One Line said...


I'll be doing that tomorrow with some rare free time that I've found in a month featuring no fewer than three (count 'em, three!) time-consuming jobs.

I realized that the only times I've ridden my bike lately have been to race, to get to work, or to buy groceries, and while it will be a training ride, it will also be a free-time, nice-day, no-demands sort of ride over the river and through the woods.

Velosopher said...

I couldn't be more pleased to hear it, NOL!

Anonymous said...

Marvelous. I had a nice vision reading that.

Velosopher said...

Why, thank you, MellowVelo! I appreciate the positive feedback!

Vicious Cycle said...

This piece made my morning. Good thought. Sometimes its prickling enough but as it goes longer and harder. It vanishes.

Velosopher said...

VC, thank you so much for your positive comment. True: sometimes the longer/harder the ride, the better!

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