Matt Axford (California, USA)

For the love of the bike

“The passion was gone and in its place resided equal parts apathetic obligation and archaic monotony.

I arrived in Mallorca the same way and with the same aim as I’m sure many couples. This was a rescue mission to salvage my relationship.

I was not in love with the bike.  No, nor did I even remember how to love the bike. Between work, family, and life I rode blindly, chasing kilometers and power numbers all in the vain attempt to regain the fitness I had when I was younger, the fitness I had before I was hit by a car, the fitness my competitors had.

I rode on the same roads day in and day out with the only satisfaction being a completed workout. A sad existence produced by a self imposed slavery. I had no idea how to ride “just for fun” and the one piece speedsuit blanketing me as I sat waiting for my first ride in the warm Mallorca autumn served to broadcast that fact to all who glanced in my direction. Speedsuits and gels. Aero helmet and aero bike.

As I sat among the forty or so riders that would make up the various groups that Sunvelo had cleverly put together, it was clear that I was the “Fred.”  I was never so out of my element while being in my element.  But that was the beauty of it.  And that was the reason I was here.  One simple goal, to fall in love with riding again.

As we made our way through the empty winding roads of Mallorca and pedal strokes blended into each other, I gradually pulled my head from my Garmin embracing that this was the first time in decades that I was on a ride with no clue where we were going, or even a general idea of where we were on a map.

My brain grasped at anything and everything filling these gaps in information with the sensory overload that riding…real riding presents its partakers.  I felt the wind flowing through my helmet as we descended.  I saw the sun enveloping all it touched in a golden hue as we climbed.  The unique smell of flora that only comes from places thousands of miles away from home.  I heard the conversation of my cohorts as they related the hows, wheres, and whens of their relationship with the bike.  And of course I enjoyed the wonderful taste of an Americano that only a cafe stop on a truly carefree ride with new friends can bring.

This was REAL riding.  This…was LOVE.”

Matt from the USA booked onto one of our Spring Guided Cycling Holidays in Mallorca.