When I was a teenager, or maybe it was when I had my first crisis of identity, my father shared one of his metaphors for life. “Life is a tight rope,” he said. I think he was trying to make me feel better by telling me about the first time he slipped off.
At this time in my life, it is not a matter of falling off the tight rope any more. The gyroscopic effect of the speed of my bicycle keeps me balanced. However, it is the acceleration that disturbs me. I don’t know the length of the tight rope, but I’m racing along it anyway.
I’ve faced this situation before when I was learning how to use rollerblades. I had built up quite a head of steam heading down a gentle slope. My legs were a bit shaky, and I wasn’t at all confident about my braking skills. I kept looking to the side of the road for places to ditch, all the while wondering how much it would hurt.