I look at my route on a topo map and part of my heart becomes quite still and my lungs start working overtime. There are no lines, there aren't even curves, just these schizophrenic marks, frantic and erratic, scribbled across the enormous Sierra Nevadas.
This opportunity thrills me, it really does, but the glory of the ride ahead is dampened and dulled by my worry of Others. Maybe reckless, maybe simply on a faster ride, I cannot stop questioning, wondering, analyzing: will someone coming up from behind me be able to keep from crashing into me if they come upon me suddenly in one of these innumerable blind corners? How split can a second get? And while I trust myself and trust the road, why can't I extend the decency of trust to other riders on other journeys, these individuals I know I will encounter while on mine?
Here is my cynicism (that humankind is an oxymoron); here is my need to control (that I can only stay safe if I am the one acting, that if I leave it in the hands of anyone else I may as well be toast). Here is my challenge - to believe that other people are around to help me, not to harm.