I am unsure of the reason, and even more so of the cause. As a young child, riding the bicycle meant freedom and it touched the first ideas about infinite possibilities. It truly was exhilarating.
It wasn’t until I was half way through undergrad that I reexamined my life. Between work and school, I expected to be satisfied, only to find I was still missing an emotional completeness. I am not sure what drove me to purchase a bicycle, I definitely couldn’t afford it, being a student.
Five to ten to twenty, the distance in miles continually increased. Why wasn’t there satisfaction with five? What was the purpose of cycling longer distances? It was not a instant revelation, but I somehow realized I was trying to find the initial exhilarating feeling I once had as a child. It did come.
It starts to turn into an escape, one that would seem destructive. Instead of facing personal, educational, and employment issues, I would cycle them away almost as simply as an alcoholic would with a sip.
I turned into what I would consider an excellent cyclist at the cost of losing emotion. I was deaf to anger and hate, and eventually was indifferent to rather obvious moral situations.
I then began to blame the bike, as if it had some sort of reason for drawing me toward it. I was pitiful. I left it to attract dust.
There wasn’t a defining moment when I decided to try to ride again. I just remember smiling and then pedaling. That order of actions proved to myself that I was off-base to blame situations on that escape. Regardless of the bicycle, I was alive again. The bicycle was always there, ready to listen during good and bad times; it was unconditional while I was wavering. Sorry.
—Jae Estrada; San Francisco, CA