Championship Presence/Bike Poise
A Prince’s Robe
35“…the cyclist, like that of the skater, so far as conscious action is concerned, his course is determined by the poise and sway of his body.” 1894 description of balance for a two-wheeled cycle
I first saw 36him on a notorious Boulder group ride. He sat in the sweet spot toward the front enjoying a commanding view of all the action and effortlessly sailing into the slipstream of every important move. He wore a recognizable jersey. This ride is accustomed to visitations from the great as well as the just-moved-to-the-mountains-wanna-be donning every conceivable garment. So I wasn’t sure whether his kit was a reflection of his true affiliation.
One thing was vivid; he rode with poetic fluidity. I had a sense that he was destined for something notable in bike racing. He had that rare deportment of euro potential. My coaching heart skipped beats, my scouting-for-talent instinct aroused by a rider so elegant upon his bicycle. At the usual place, the ride split and he rode out of sight. I wondered why he was on this ride this time of year and if he were a pro who should be off wooing victory?
Days passed, and I saw him again: the same velo Valentino as suave as Zorro, changing speeds like an ocean wave, rounding bends like butter, climbing like a gazelle. What poise, what grace. Later I learn of his neopro status and the reason for his hard predicament as detainee among us.
Eventually he did go on to Europe, became an admirable team leader, and won significant races. My scouting intuition and prophecy proven, the greatest legacy he left me was the ideal of an almost elusive quality to all but a few so gifted: his command of the bicycle. Despite his hardship at the time, his bike demeanor was like a royal robe, its smooth and velvety splendor something you want to reach out and touch as its bearer glides near.
Prayer for Bike Poise
“…clothe yourself with strength. Put on your garments of splendor…” 37Isaiah 52:1
We are thankful for the balance, control, and proprioception accessible to us. We recognize we sometimes fight forces meant to be utilized in harmony. We pray our greatest potential be realized as kinetic poets – cycling with poise.
Ponder Can my balance be improved? Affirm I offer my strength in cooperation with gravity. Watch as spatial awareness meets technical skill for superbly directed equilibrium.
35Cycling, by William Coutts Keppel Albemarle, published 1894 by Longmans, Green and Co., London
36He will remain anonymous. The ride is one of Boulder’s hardest regular training rides. To finish the winter ride then join the big boys climbing up some canyon is a privilege reserved for a select few in their finest moment. Hallelujah for youthful fitness to have experienced it! On any given weekend in the off-season, its field is composed of recognizable figures in road cycling, triathlon, cyclo-cross, and mountain biking. But during race season, sightings of any contracted professional are sparse and therefore portend unfortunate sidelining circumstances.
37The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society