WHY? The world from a bike

A man and his bike: clocking in 27,500 km last year, suffice it to say that Tristan Cardew is an expert when it comes to Girona’s best roads

A man and his bike: clocking in 27,500 km last year, suffice it to say that Tristan Cardew is an expert when it comes to Girona’s best roads

A few days ago, we stood in the sun at the top of one of the many steep little climbs that surround Girona and looked out at the undulating landscapes across the valley. Just behind us were the Pyrenees, still draped with a crochet of white, floating above the patchwork of Spanish agriculture that blankets Catalunya. It was one of those rare moments that you actually stop at the top of a climb and clip out long enough to let the pounding in your chest subside and really drink in the moment. I never would have found this road and these views without the company and experience of Tristan, TSC guide and photographer, with whom I was fortunate enough to share that moment.

Christian doing what he does–pulling our group for 250km down one of the lovely tree-lined cycle paths in NL, headed south at sunrise in sub-zero temperatures

Christian doing what he does–pulling our group for 250km down one of the lovely tree-lined cycle paths in NL, headed south at sunrise in sub-zero temperatures

A few months before, Christian joined a group of us in Amsterdam to ride nearly 500 km to Maastricht and back over two days in the dead of winter. For those who don’t ride, this equates to clear and simple lunacy. But when the people around you are suffering just as much as you are, there is a salient camaraderie that can be otherwise elusive in our existence off the bike, which is why Christian came to ride with us—because he, and in turn The Service Course, understands and appreciates the connection cycling affords.

Photo: Tristan Cardew

Photo: Tristan Cardew

In the end, for me, it’s not the hammering or the winning or the being faster than your mates that brings the most fulfillment in riding a bike. It’s the fulfillment of using your own capacity to carry yourself to the top of that hill where you drink in your surroundings. It’s the simplicity of turning the pedals that really allows you to exist fully in the present. And perhaps more than anything, it’s the connection and community that comes so easily when you have something so important in common—something that leads to shared understandings of how the world is best experienced.

-Krysten, TSC Ambassador



Krysten Koehn