Cycling Stories

The Freedom Machine

February 6, 2020


The Freedom Machine

“To me, there’s something very spiritual about the sport of cycling. It’s awe-inspiring that my body works in conjunction with a steel machine, propelling us forward.”

Abhishek Kafle

One summer afternoon after school, my father nonchalantly asked me whether I would like a bicycle. Without any hesitation, knowing the adventures it would invite, I replied with a quick “Yes!”

Later, in the city of Birtamod, I bought myself (with my father’s money, of course) a bike that had a huge “SANTOSHA” emblem on the frame. That day is when my official cycling journey began.

A picture of the author in the mountains near his home.

The Spiritual Aspect of Cycling

Soon after I bought my bike, a bunch of my friends and I decided to bike up a hill in our district, with a teacher as our guide. The ride was fun in the plains, but as soon as the hills approached, none of us could pedal.

But without stopping, we walked along with our bikes until reaching the hilltop, which we designated as the endpoint. 

A quick snack and we hopped on our bikes and soared downhill: that’s one memory that will probably stay with me for the rest of my life. The sheer exhilaration from going so fast on a bike—it was pure bliss! After that, we enjoyed many more school day cycling trips.

To me, there’s something very spiritual about the sport of cycling. It’s awe-inspiring that my body works in conjunction with a steel machine, propelling us forward. I feel free, not bound by an engine or intricate machinery. A simple machine that does just enough—there’s no need for more.

New Life Chapters, With & Without Cycling

But life goes on, our school days end, and we begin new chapters in our lives.

For me, that new chapter was attending high school in a new city—and it wouldn’t be unfair to state that cycling was almost non-existent in my new home.

But as soon as I returned during a holiday or a break, I would be on my bike, riding the paddy fields, cruising the thick forests, and breathing fresh air.

Recently, a few friends invited me to ride in a major cycling event called ‘KORA,’ which was held in Kathmandu, where I currently live. Out of three available, we chose the rookie route, encompassing a mere fifty kilometers.

Kathmandu, Nepal

For the event, I rented a bike for 800 Rupees, which amounts to about $7 US, and we hit the road.

After a long, arduous biking session around Kathmandu, we completed the ride exhausted, but with hefty smiles. I was glad to feel the spirit of biking hadn’t died down inside me and hadn’t been affected by the hustle and bustle of city life.

Future Cycling

In the future, I wish to bike around the Himalayas. That would be a dream come true.

I think biking is a necessity for living life to the fullest. Why not do it?

Bio: Abhishek Kafle is an 18-year old recent high school graduate who lives in Kathmandu, Nepal. He's searching for meaning while considering future endeavors.
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