Cycling Stories

Pedaling Away the Blues

April 1, 2020


Pedaling Away the Blues

I guess it was the cycle home that made me notice. I’d ride along, rusty chain clinking in unison with the pedal’s thumping click, as they both swung full circle.

And then, suddenly, I’d couldn’t cycle any further.

I’d have to stop and wheel my bike to the side of the road, my whole body heavy. Sometimes, I’d cry. Others, I wouldn’t. Sometimes, I’d stand there, staring emptily.

Somehow, I’d manage to trudge back home, shoving my bike in front of me. Each step was a heavy weight; my club feet slapping down against the ground. Eventually, I’d reach total exhaustion and couldn’t make it any farther.

It was a while before I was able to cycle again; before I was able to do much of anything, for that matter. I sank, life’s weight a heavy mass I could no longer carry. During that time, the stairs often felt too high to climb, the step out of bed too wide to reach. It felt like something in my mind had died, with cotton wool lodged between my thoughts.

The first time I got back on my bike, I remember feeling a sudden urge to cry, to shout out to the wind, which slapped against my face as the world flashed by.

I felt like I was flying, hair leaking from my helmet, following me like thunder, loose strands flapping their wings. It was the first time in a long time I’d let my feelings filter through the self-imposed numbness. But in that second, life felt exhilarating.

Now, every time I ride, I pedal harder – pressing, pushing, moving forward. I remember what I have; the wonderful mess of colors that makes up the world around me.

And I hold on to the handlebars as hard as I can.

Elinor is a philosophy graduate from Leeds in the cold and rainy North of England. Her work has been published in Strix, Book XI, a Wild West Press anthology, and Poetry Birmingham. 

One Comment
  1. colleen Kristinsson

    Wonderfully descriptive

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