50“Beauty: the bicycle is among the most efficient and elegant technologies ever devised…Propulsion with respect to effort is tremendous.” Caspar Henderson, Refined Thinker & Cyclist
Propulsion with respect to effort serves as well in peloton relations as it does in aerodynamics. Cycling isn’t a sport for black-eyed hockey-checks, and likewise not a sport for pansies. Refinement doesn’t mean the hard men of cycling need feminine mystique. A champion knows how to be hard and refined – like a polished diamond. Championship cycling is an elegant way of living.
From the earth, our dust-composed selves can be shaped into a crude clay pot for cooking beans or a porcelain vase for holding podium flowers. Grounded by esprit d’corps, cycling champions arise across socioeconomic lines from factory worker’s sons to stockbroker’s daughters. The road is a leveler of privileged and poor alike, and the community’s beauty is in its diversity brought together by unity of movement.
Those we herald as winners and who work as our representatives are also trained in etiquette, sportsmanship, sponsor and media relations, team work, volunteerism and community outreach. The pedaling exhibition causes public accountability. Hard fires of refinement are passed through on the way toward palmarès, and the peloton is intolerant of sustained rudeness. A sense of fair play manifests in gracious appreciation, gentleness even while racing aggressively, and public presentation.
A smile, grateful thanks, acknowledgment accumulates mileage with the masses. The peloton and the public have a long memory and limit bad behavior from its rolling membership. You simply cannot get a wheel if an ass to your peers, or find a sponsor worth having if unsavory. Sure we talk smack and sometimes curse at each other in the peloton and the press, but the closer one rides at la course en tête, the narrower the passageway. Be eager to pass on the love that got you on the front.
Prayer for Refinement
“Isn’t it obvious that a potter has a perfect right to shape one lump of clay into a vase for holding flowers and another into a pot for cooking beans?” 51Romans 9:17
We confess it’s a hard truth to discover that some of us are vessels for cooking beans and others for holding flowers. We pray that whatever role we assume in cycling, we strive to filter impurity and disrespect.
Ponder Am I elegant in the heat of battle? Affirm I take the high road. Watch when well-doing seems painful; that higher road is steep.
50“The peach wins! Why I like my bike,” by Caspar Henderson 23-05-2002 www.opendemocracy.net
51The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson