Monday, September 14, 2009


Is there a place called Salvation? And can I ride to it? How far? Century? Double Century? Or a wheel-spinning millennium?

How many saddle sores do I need to get in, and how much lactic acid do I need to be carrying? Is it uphill all the way? Is there a headwind? Will someone pace me? Will the echelons string across road like accordions of mercy and deliver me, just as a hole develops in the heel of my old wool socks?

Will the Earth spin under my wheels, and will all the trees blur into one, tall green spire? Will my chain run dry and my cables stretch thin, on my way to Salvation?

Can you even get there on a carbon fiber horse? I'd best run steel. To be safe.

The sweat soaks all the way out the brim of my cap and the lycra lets hold its grip. The road turns up and disappears, asymptotic in the distance. There's a rasp in my chest and a creaking in my bars, and I used my last spare tube hours ago. It doesn't matter, because the side walls of these thins tires are nearly gone. I've gone sallow in the cheeks, almost gray. I blend into the winter-bleached asphalt, pebbly and rough. And cars swish by, oblivious, the radio on too loud.

I'm near Salvation now. I know I am, but how much further?

How much further?

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