My last experience with mountain biking coincided with the most profound sense of freedom I’ve ever known. Yes, I flipped over my handlebars multiple times while careening down a mountainside. Yes, I once bled enough to get light-headed and concerned about my survival. And yes, I once dangled over a cliff, saved from a fatal fall by digging my fingers into the earth up to the second knuckle.
On each of those occasions, fear was handily trumped by wonder.
Granted, all of that biking took place in the lawless streets of Kathmandu or in the foothills of the Himalayas.
I set out to buy a simple road bike – I live close enough to commute by foot-power and feel I should give it a go. Instead, I discovered an old friend winking at me: the same model, nearly the same colors, in extraordinary shape, and with a price too good to be true. That long lost blue and silver love that I left in the eager hands of a delivery boy in the smog-laced splendor of Thamel crossed into its own karmic reincarnation cycle and emerged in Massapequa, New York. It was meant to be.
I doubt I’ll have as much occasion to court death or crippling disaster, but the cars do drive a lot faster in these parts.
The first ride felt like coming home.