I never could have anticipated the places my bike would take me, both physically and metaphorically. Riding my bike has become a parallel to the journey of my life. It has taught me resilience, self-confidence, strength and the importance of inward validation.
I thoroughly enjoy riding my bike and exploring new roads and trails with others, but the moment I begin searching for a sense of approval from others regarding my personal growth and choices, I run into a wall of frustration and self-doubt. It has taken me years to learn how to find a sense of accomplishment that is rooted only in myself and not upon the transient opinions of those around me. My bike has served as my mode of transport for this journey.
From time to time I’ll find myself on a ride with a friend and realize that I am subconsciously longing for a sense of validation that I can make it to the top of a climb or clear a technical section. Once again I lose track of my inner strength. I am learning each time to refocus my thoughts. It is clear now that my own strength and resilience are not found anywhere else. Riding my bike, I locate my sense of self.
Aside from the symbolic journey my bike has carried me through, it has also allowed me to explore and connect with the world around me. Riding alpine trails in Colorado, Idaho, Alaska and Switzerland has taught me humility and respect for Mother Nature’s great creations. Each day I get on my bike and experience the changing colors of the leaves, the first dusting of white on the mountains, or the clusters of wildflowers outlining the trail in front of me, I can see nature’s great cycles. And, for a moment, I become a part of the landscape.
- Nicole Jorgenson