The gap is there. The how or why of its existence does not really matter. The empty space is all that is relevant. It is space occupied by both success and defeat. One cannot exist without the other. One is there for the hunter, the other for the prey. Which for whom though, is the outcome to be determined now. We typically view gaps as empty space, space to be filled or closed. In reality though, gaps are full - they are filled with possibility and potential, everything that will allow the hunter to realize success, or inhibit and result in failure. Think of all the things that could go right, that can go wrong, everything that preceded the chase with a bearing on the outcome, not to mention the external physical conditions affecting each of the two adversaries. This is what occupies the gap.

The empty space could be measured in distance or time, but that does not really matter either. Which ever measurement you choose will require the same muscle searing, breath gasping effort to close. And concentration - don't forget concentration. The possibility of failure is always lurking around the dark, shadowy places of the mind. The best know how to keep it down and hidden away. Let failure become a thought, even for a second, and you are doomed. The hunt is over, the prey has won.

Back to the road. You spot your prey, and commit to chase. Cue the theme from Jaws (or other equally valid song of pursuit); Jaws has always been mine, it keeps me focused. Pick up speed. Gauge the distance - energy is a terrible thing to waste. Shift up, bigger gear. Again, more speed. Tuck down low, elbows bent parallel to the ground, shoulders sloped, eyes never waver from the prize. Faster. Faster. Full flight, fully committed. Waste not, want not - you're all in now, either success or failure. All or nothing.

Slowly at first, or maybe it is just the distance (the size of the gap makes it seem that way) the gap inexorably closes. Two fluid machines, the body and the bike, working in tandem for a goal only one will savor. One supplies the energy, the other transmits that energy into motion. One is no good without the other. At the apex of the chase, the two meld into one, the man-machine. Inseparable. Bonded by a unity of purpose.

Focus. The only things that are clear are the target and the gap; everything else is a peripheral blur. There is no meaning, no significance along the fringe. Surroundings, which might otherwise be a rich tapestry of life, have no existence in this moment. At the apex of the chase breathing becomes a pattern, matches the cadence, a cyclical reflection, maximizing output for forward momentum. It all ties together - no unnecessary distraction, no wasted movement or misspent exertion.

You know the cheetah, the hawk. The shark. Brothers, and sisters, of the chase. It feels the same - the fluidity of movement, the simplicity of fully focused senses, the dominance of instinct over thought, the power before the final lunge, the satisfaction of accomplishment. If your prey were to look back just before being overcome, what would be reflected in its eyes, off its mirrored lenses? Victory? Mockery of the inevitable outcome? A mask of confidence hiding everything but the final scene of surrender? Would it reveal the complete linear progression of the pursuit from start to end, showing every ounce of effort and concentration, conviction and determination? Seeing all that in a backward glance could your prey still be satisfied at a race well played, a pursuit fully challenged to the very end?


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