you will fall off the bike. everyone does. from down there, where gravity and defeat attempt to seduce you, you’ll ask yourself: do you want to be a rider? bend a corner so smooth and swift you wonder why you were born with legs? do you want to go up against the wind and win? i’ll answer for you. yes, yes and yes.
you will fall off the bike. one minute you’ll be coasting, and the next, a pothole in the pavement or a branch in your spokes will send you flying over the handlebars. you’ll skin the meat of your blood-speckled palms and burn a curse-worthy hole in the knee of your jeans. some jerks will laugh; some less-jerky folks will chuckle after they make sure you’re okay. Both kinds of people have been where you are: down low, in the dirt, akin to collapse.
as soon as you climb back on the bike, none of that matters. not the fall, the jeers, the jeans–none of it. As quick as you can pedal, it’s behind you, dissolving into the air whistling past your ears, and the soft hiss of rubber accelerating against the roadway.
you will fall off the bike, but what happens next is all on you. you can be someone who only talks about riding, someone who hits the deck and stays there, or you can be someone who leaves both those someones in the dust.