It happens when I feel my still-functional lower extremities securely fastened on. And when I feel my still-functional upper extremities grasping that bar connected continually to my destination.
I am old school. I use the old-style clips. Old feet fastened on. With old hands grasping old cloth tape.
The obligation is to once agin try to pull my own weight. I will pull my own weight this day and hopefully the next again.
I have the advantage. I have her. The old steel. Emilio Bozzi, Campy Record, Velo Italia !!!
She still wants to move out across each morning, each midday, across each evening, she begs my meager startup, then goes off beneath me, summons me to follow, to revel in that partnership that she offers.
She rallies my spirit, she glides me past the beautiful shoreline, she spurns me along past the acres of grapes tied in rows and hastens me along up those inclines that otherwise might intimidate. She promises me more miles than I might otherwise own. She eases my way through all those many passes that might not otherwise have been.
She is real. She is fine Italian steel. And the more she wears and the more she chips, scratches and fades, the more beautiful she somehow appears.
And just as her former master passed her along to myself, someday I must find her a new love. Someday. But not this day. This day we ride on still, confident that so much more distance remains between us and where we will go.
Could those that constructed her ever conceive of me, so far removed? Could they have imagined that their creation would someday be considered to be so very privileged and so very loved, so many years later?
Or was she simply the product of so many celebrations of speed and pride recorded as victories along those storied and ancient thoroughfares of her homeland?
No matter. Great legacies beg of mysteries. Vintage cycles go on. And on.
I cannot truly profess to own her. I can only tell you how she moves me.