Move the Bike Forward


[Please buckle up your irony seat belts and allow me to pause before we get back to the business of Urgency. Thanks.]

On a recent ride, Paul told me he felt great, that he was really moving the bike forward.”

I thought this was one of the most profound things Paul had ever said to me.

My mind expanded as I processed a phrase surely used by serious cyclists to describe the Zen-like state you hope to attain on every decent ride but which you usually only experience in fleeting moments of uncomplicated oneness with your bike, when you unconsciously anticipate every gear shift, nimbly avoid hidden loose gravel, and neither over nor under exert on any climb or descent. I knew he had suggested a whole new way to look at my riding, my life, my world.

After a few days of truly resonating with the overwhelming peace I had gained from this insight, I profusely thanked my darling husband for sharing it with me.


Paul hates to disappoint me and is always very cautious at such moments.


I would now like to offer you Move the bike forward, a phrase which I believe conveys deep meaning– whether or not actually intended by Paul or any other serious cyclist.

How often are you distracted?

How often are any of us looking backward with regret or sideways with envy or beyond with fear? Anywhere but at the tracks we are laying at that precise moment.

For me, it has been a year of deep distraction. I wish I were more of a carpe diem, live in the moment kind of person by nature, but I’m not. I’m a planner, a list-maker, an organizer. I am the person John Lennon pitied when he said,

“Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.”

I don’t think I can alter this essential truth about myself. But the thing that appeals to me about the Move the bike forward concept is that it doesn’t require me to change my core but subtly suggests that I might find some benefit from redirecting my focus, in trying to be:

  • Mindful but not fearful;
  • Resolute but not inflexible;
  • Responsive but not defensive.

And here’s the thing: I will still make lists. I will still plan and organize– I am writing a blog about the URGENCY of the next year of my family’s life, after all. But as we downsize, as we shed stuff and baggage, I will also attempt to shed the distraction of what was and the constant fear of what will be.

I want to be gratefully aware of the bike under me, moving forward.

Now on with the ride.


4 Responses to “Move the Bike Forward”

  1. Donna Says:

    Magnificent! This is totally worthy of inclusion in the “book of family sayings.” And I will make it so.

  2. Sydney Says:

    Donna– if you’re not sure where you last left the “book of family sayings” it’s on the dresser in the guest room (Erin’s?) where we slept a couple of weekends ago. I loved it, and read it cover to cover! It was way more interesting than the book of Barbie collectibles, although that was pretty good, too. Thanks for our wonderful accommodations!

    Suzanne- I also would like to profusely thank your husband for bringing you overwhelming peace with his insight.

  3. Donna Says:

    Sydney, thanks for your comment. As I hope you could see, the book of family sayings is a work in progress. Laura gave it to us as a Christmas present in 2009, and I’ve promised to keep it updated. At this point I’ve cataloged the original contents and made a list of the new sayings I need to enter. Now I need to get beyond the first 50 yds. and finish the race. I would be happy to have you see the next “edition” when it’s completed.


  4. Sydney Says:

    I would LOVE to see the completed book, and if you ever order a slew of them so the family won’t fight over the sole copy, I want one of those, too. Grabby, aren’t I?

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