This weekend began a new era of cycling in my triathlon journey as I made the switch over from a roadie to a tri bike. Since clipping in on Saturday I’ve put in over 100 kilometres in the saddle, and I think I’m in love. It’s sleek and quick and light and it’s molded to me like a glove. But this new love has come at the expense of my old flame. This week’s post isn’t about breaking through barriers, or new challenges, or epic journeys, but about remembering Red Lightning, one of the most important partners I’ve had along the way.
He was once the light that shone brightly and mighty. He was old, but full of life, and I loved him. Now he sits, torn apart and left behind like a broken lamp that has no home. I stripped his wheels, pedals and saddle, then left him there in his fading blaze of glory. As I walked past him this morning, I felt an unusual and most abnormal feeling of grief. Together we have conquered mountains. We have crashed together, cried together and laughed together. I’ve yelled at him and spoke softly to him. We have had bonding sessions before races, and I even hugged him after races. But most importantly during those races we could drop faster, sleeker, prettier, and pricer bikes, because together Red Lightning and I were unstoppable. He was my first road bike and in some way I feel that since we started the journey together we should end it together, but alas sometimes change is good. It seems so silly to become attached to an inanimate object, yet in a year of so many challenges and first experiences, it’s hard not to feel that connection. It does become part of the experience and, for the most part, he fared me very well. Together we rode more than 1,500 kilometres, climbed more than 15,000 metres, raced in six triathlons, called one taxi home, crashed twice and conquered the biggest challenges of my triathlon journey. I know this isn’t the end of his road, perhaps maybe it’s just a break, but nonetheless I feel it’s important that at this juncture to look back on the memories. Nonetheless, no matter where the road goes, he’ll always have a place in my heart and together we will ride again, it will just be a different journey.