Love: What is love?

What is love?

Love is many things.

Love is ever changing.
Love is not so easily defined.

The love for the bicycle is a love a special love. It may be easy for me to say that I love my bicycle. I may even try to describe my love for the bicycle. But honestly.... I do not feel this love for the bicycle on each and every ride. There are moments when this love is clear... those moments are fleeting and precious.

This love for the bicycle is not entirely different for my love for my wife, my love for my children, or my love for my dogs. It is easy for my to say that I love my wife, children, and dogs; of course I love each and everyone of them as individuals and as the group that we call family and of course I could go through a list of why I love each and every one of them as a group or as an individual, but honestly there are only occassional special moments when we share a special connection where we know it is love. At these early stages of my son's lives the love is strong, powerful, and encompasses many experiences.... not unlike the love I shared for lisa when we first met, dated, and discovered each other. I will not go into great details of the various loves as do not want to get all sappy online. At different points in our lives and different points in our relationship we have experienced love in many different ways. And I know that the love I have for each and every one of them is going to grow and morph into many other things through the course of all of our lives.

The love for the bicycle is not entirely dissimilar.

I can tell you that I love my bicycle and I may be able to form a logical explanation, but it is actually at different points on the bike that I actually know what that love for the bike means. It comes as some sort of an epifany. It can be riding my bicycle across Key Bridge in the early morning as the sun rises.... nothing but the fog and a few rowers on the Potomac, nothing on the streets but me, some random runners, and virtually carless streets except for a those non-descript white vans making their early morning deliveries of newspapers, bagels, flowers, or who know what. This love can be experience during a moment in traffic as I max out my body and max out my bike. Riding the rhythm of traffic like a surfer rides the waves, being in the zone..... being in the moment..... being one with the bike.... being one with the organized chaos that is urban traffic and city life. Then there can be a moment on a mountain ride or more usually during a mountain bike race where I am moving along at a healthy pace. Pushing the bike effortless at my maximum speed. Breathing in the air around me. Smelling the dry pine or the decomposing leaves... each season and each ecological niche having its one distinctive essence. Weaving through the tight trees of the single track, clearing the obstacles, making the climbs, and floating down the downhills. During these moments it is all clear. It is all explained to me. I can not tell you what I see or what I feel. It is some sort of Nirvana. Not unlike what a monk may seek through great meditation. Life is explained to me. And at that moment in time my love for the bike is easily understood.

Every bicycle ride is not a religious experience. But, then again... mot every night out drinking is a party. So just as we go out drinking many times in search of that one really good time.... we also go out on many rides to try and find that one magical moment on the bike. And for that moment to be magical... there need to be those base miles.... which are more like love for work.

and one last thing before I climb into my gear, mount up on my bike, head towards the harvest moon with my lights a flashing to meet various people at the Wonderland Ballroom...
there are even those that love their job
for me... there are aspects of my job that I like and other aspects that I truly appreciate
but I fear that I can never effectively love my job the same way that I love my wife, my children, my dogs, or even my bicycle*.

*when I say bicycle..... I mean bicycle as I have many. I do not love them all equally. Nor do all of them give me the same chances at finding the perfect moment, but I do love them all and they all love me back


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