choiceBy the time we hit the first hills
my hands were so cold I could feel
each tendon pull and hold. Come on,
I thought, you’ve too much meat on
the pedals to let them break you now!

Later, riding along the edge of
the valley in the golden light
of the setting sun—the barns red
on the green below, the horses dark
and lithe behind their white fences—
I felt the blood running down my back
and dripping from the saddle. Looking
down at the chain, it was not, I mused,
the lubricant I personally would have
chosen, but there was a certain delicate
voice to it, there was no denying that.


Thank you for reading Cycling, and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.

The photograph was taken in the Berkshires in upper New York state—an area otherwise known as the Poconos in Pennsylvania. For more photography, please visit the Book of Bokeh.


Photograph, poem and notes © 2014 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. The poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original written work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © 2014 by John Etheridge, The photograph is not licensed for use or reproduction in any way, unless so granted in writing by the copyright owner.


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2 responses to “Cycling

  1. That is a wonderful field to cycle.