Passage #344: 23 March 2016

Going Soft

There a point at which the archetype of toughness -- so prevalent in cycling culture -- breaks down. To go bigger, to get stronger, to push ahead ever faster, these all can be good things, certainly. Testing limits is often an important part of learning and growing. But being "hard" can also mean to be rigid. A carbon bike is indeed quite stiff, but very well may shatter under certain conditions. Hardness can be similarly fragile, can it not?

This week on the ride (and, really, every week) we explore softness as an ideal. Can we ride with supple legs and supple minds? Rather than merely cutting our path through the places we pass, can we allow them too to press their contours into our own pliable figures, to let them shape us? This is not to say that we will be taking it easy -- softness, in terms of cycling, is generally far more difficult than hard, smooth road. But can we look upon whatever difficulties we may encounter not as opportunities to flex but instead for flexibility?

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