Grandfather’s axe

The crunch of finely ground dirt and gravel under my tires seems to amplify my sense of speed in the early-morning mist. That peculiar sound adds a sense of urgency, of pursuit. It is fitting given the way the path winds between some of the Revolutionary War’s most important sites in Minute Man National Historical Park.

It is a road for remembrance just after dawn. British and American flags sprout like spring buds from cracks in stone fences. This testament, while somber, is also a beautiful reminder of why a simple trip by bicycle can be imbued with so much more when you can lose yourself in your surroundings.

Such practiced reverie takes work Yet I was regularly preoccupied during my first solo outings along Battle Road.

Read more at RedKitePrayer.com.

Hard enough

We measure ourselves by milestones, but the daily victories over ourselves need to be celebrated too. Little things take big efforts in the pre-dawn morning, whether it’s writing the day’s first words or riding so hard that your lungs have no choice but to invite the freezing air in. This is the work that matters most. It is the foundation of our triumph.

Read my latest piece “The Hardest Hour” at cycling Web site Red Kite Prayer.

Riding on

A neighbor walked by the other day as I sat out front reading and he looked at me with a smile.

“Finally.”

For kids on bikes, it’s been spring for weeks already. They shake off the chill in the evening, their parents’ preoccupation with tragedy near and far and they ride. Best of all, they call us to ride with them.

And we do. There is no better way to put a tough winter behind you than to go for a ride with your kids.

Read the full post at Red Kite Prayer.

The measure of a man

They say you can tell a lot about a man by his shoes. I say you can tell a lot about a cyclist by their tires.

When I worked in Washington, D.C., if you met someone wearing glossy ebony dress shoes and an over-sized Timex running watch with a nice suit, they almost certainly spent some serious time in the military.

Likewise, when you’re out on the road this spring and your eye catches the green stripe of a plump Vittoria tubular and a supple big-ring cadence, that rider is someone you don’t want to half-wheel. You want to follow. If you can.

An inch-wide tubular painstakingly glued on a carbon rim symbolizes all that is wonderful about a sport endlessly grappling with its origins and its future.

Read more at Red Kite Prayer.