Plague of Self-Doubt [From BA 43-100]

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"By virtue of your courage, know that you are, ever and always, one of us. Ours is a vast and varied fleet, strong in spirit and song."

from BA 43-100

It has come to our attention that a few among our ranks have been succumbing to that most corrosive and destructive of temptations, that plague of the battle-weary and the open-hearted, which is to say, of course, self-doubt.

You’ll go down when you least expect it. That much is axiomatic. Go years without falling off your bike, then one day out of the clear, unblemished blue—whoops! And there you are. Picking yourself up from the pavement, knowing you took the road in at least three places, but looking at the bike first anyway. The usual mangled lever hood and ruined tape on one side, the pedal that was perfect but will now serve for a permanent reminder, even with the cage straightened. Handlebars knocked cockeyed, the front wheel a little out. You’re not so stiff and sore from it the next day and the bike is just so much spilt milk, anyway. The worst part really is the road rash stinging for the next half-hour or so. But hey, it heals.

To you who suffer thusly, we say: fear not! By virtue of your courage, be it ever so humble or young, know that you are, ever and always, one of us. Ours is a vast and varied fleet, strong not just in number but in spirit and song. We see you wielding zip-ties and strapping down your books. We see you squinting through the rain. Yes, you there, too, wringing sweat from your blouse. And you, coaxing a smile at the red light from disgruntled rush-hour commuters. We see you and we honor you, if not with a medal of bravery then with a friendly chime from our bell and a nod of recognition. The road is long and the fight unending, but there are victories and visions of hope and height, and chief among these is you.

Onward, tally-ho, and sally forth.

PS: We have on a number of occasions reported that riding into the wind makes one stronger. In fact, it makes one sleepier, and possibly angry, and hungry, then eventually stronger. 

Evan P. Schneider