Monday, July 02, 2007

Bob Roll's Unbreakable Bond with Cycling

Bob left for the Tour "Day" France yesterday, but he left behind his first blog post for us. He'll be checking in here a couple of times from Le Tour so check back often for first-hand accounts of his observations as he travels throughout France this month.

Without further ado....Bob his own words...

Freedom is just another word for two-wheeled self-propelled nirvana. Freedom is a word often used but frequently misunderstood. As a teenager, it meant the liberating feeling of being able to go just about anywhere without being driven in a car. On my bicycle, as I rode past the gridlock, I felt as if I was flying. And since then the bicycle has become the perfect extension of my desire for an understanding of freedom.

Even so, in my wildest dreams I could never have conceived of the level of freedom I’ve been able to find. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area I saw the rural orchards and pastures converted into sprawling suburban blight. As the sprawl devoured the farms, the traffic became insane. I had to find a way to navigate a new and alien landscape choked with traffic. The bicycle became the perfect vehicle and filled me with incredible glee to fly past the people sitting idly in their cars.

I could never have envisioned in those early days how far the humble two wheeled machine would take me. Apparently, whatever instincts drew me towards the bicycle must have been fairly accurate and I have been lucky enough to ride my bicycle all over the planet. I also have been able to race all over. Mostly I lost, but a few times I actually won along with my 7-Eleven and Motorola team mates. Most notably, I was a member of the first American team to race in the Tour “Day” France.

I piled on the miles from Manhattan to Milan. I pedaled everywhere I could and after so many thousands of miles I’ve never lost the feeling that I was flying. To this day there is no feeling quite like the simple pleasure of a bike ride. In fact, I get ridiculously grumpy if I don’t ride. My dreams have evolved over these years but one that I still hold closely to my heart is to always be a cyclist. What a fantastic ride!

1 comment:

Tim Jackson- Masi Guy said...

Jeesh, I can't believe it has taken me this long to read this and finally post a simple, "Amen, Brother Bob!"

I could not have written that any better myself. I hope that I ride my bike until the day I die- not that I want to be run over and killed or anything. I just hope that I get to ride my bike the last day I'm here on this spinning orb. That'd be pretty cool (hopefully I'll be 100 and have at least won one Masters World title first...).