‘And the chain tension in harmony with the correct gear’

Today, on the bicycle, I had an interesting ride. It was one of those days where I really understood gearing, anticipating shifts in all of the right places. It wasn’t la volupté, the voluptuousness, by any means. I seldom get that spare moment Jean Bobet described:

Its magic lies in its unexpectedness, its value in its rarity … It is more than a sensation because one’s emotions are involved as well as one’s actions.

The voluptuous pleasure that cycling can give you is delicate, intimate and ephemeral. It arrives, it takes hold of you, sweeps you up and then leaves you again. It is for you alone. It is a combination of speed and ease, force and grace. It is pure happiness.

I didn’t have that, but I was really in tune, understanding, anticipating, the shifting today. I really had it down in a fine and intimate way. One click here, push over the roller and two pops there. It was one of those days where I really understood it, until I completely and immediately forgot it all. One of those days.

(I really need a haircut.)

Probably it means I have been riding those particular roads too much recently. Indeed, as we see by today’s installment of the irregular feature of Barns by Bike:

As I am sure I’ve written here before, this road was also on the first bike route we rode here. We see it a lot. Do you ever wonder what’s inside people’s barns? You have time on a bike to think about such things.

Anyway, some roads are like that. Everyone has their regular routines. You have to work to escape them sometimes. You see la volupté a lot less frequently. Far too little, in fact. But it’s one of the reasons you keep going out there. Just one of them.

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