As i have recently discovered, bike racing requires you to pay money, in order to have the pleasure of hurting yourself, on the off chance you might win a little bit of money back. This is kinda equivalent to paying for an Exodus ticket, and having to remain for the actual gig. It's painful, boring, and largely unnecessary...but, you know, they might play Piranha.
But, despite the pain a bike race involves, despite the occasional boredom, pseudo machismo, and general risk to life and limb, you keep coming back. Week after week. Looking for something. What for? Glory? No, clearly if that were the case i would choose a sport that gets noticed. Money? Again, golf is where it's at.
No, the reason i race my bike is that, week after week, I receive a small, tangible confirmation that I'm capable of more than i gave myself credit for. The sensation of hope that surges through you as your body heaves from exhaustion, your belly wanting to vomit everything you have eaten that day, is unlike anything you feel in day to day life. It's the feeling of seeing, briefly, what your body could do, if you put your mind to it.
Hope, then, is a sickly feeling at the bottom of your stomach. Kinda like the feeling you get at an Exodus concert.