El Porto, Manhattan Beach, Califonia


In the early morning sun, drinking deep the cool, fresh air, I release the brakes on my bike, and with the purring clicks of the freewheel, start my descent down the canyon. In seconds I’m building speed. I lower my hands to the drop-bars, grab the brake levers with two fingers, and lean into the first curve. Letting off the brakes, I accelerate, focus, lean into the next curve, and with gravity pulling hard, I carve a bend to the left and the right, dropping forward, pealing through turns, another and another.

The road straightens out, I top the last hill, release the brake leavers and lean forward with my ass just touching the seat. I feel the strong downward pull, wind rushing past my ears, my legs absorbing bumps, fast fear building, eyes tearing––dropping faster and faster––the pavement beneath me blurs, and then the final thrust through to the bottom …. As I roll out across the straight, flat road, flying past homes and yards, the fear releases. As I sit up, the air hits my chest, and I began to slow … and the trees and sky and streetscape come into view. And as the ride settles out in my mind––life seems more livable.