As I have continued to commute, joy ride and tour the DC area I have been amazed at how much I enjoy riding my bike. I have come to be the “bike guy” amongst my church friends, the crazy bike commuter by my conservative colleagues and rounding it out with an amazed family who have watched me get so excited and passionate about something so normal when stacked up against daily life. That’s what it is supposed to be, for bike riding is such a normal part of work, play, taking care of my child, faith and so on. But, I don’t ride a bike because it is normal. If it was, I would choose a bus over a bike or ride in a car daily to make my life even more normal.
Bicycles in motion and in a supposed state are a picture of moving parts toward a common goal of propelling an individual forward. You have of course the moving two wheels, the moving cluster, at times the shifting gears and cables and levers and displaced gravel and road debris in its wake. Some may see just a bike but this is what I see – an amazing simple complexity that has allowed me to transverse miles and improve my well-being…
Everyone’s life is a little hectic, some more than most and I suppose that is the crux of why I ride. Along with it, life goes by fast. But when riding I experience life slowing down and my head is focused. Setting the scene, on my normal days unloaded I ride hard, always it seems and I have found it is my style. Not reckless or risky, just hard. I have tried to slow down but beyond just going at a slower rate, it is uncomfortable. Oddly enough, the faster/harder I go the more my head is clear. Through any frosty fingers, cold toes, sweat, thirst, and pain I sometimes experience it is all worth it.
I bike for a lot of reasons – moderate my cholesterol levels, keep weight off, hobby, enjoyment but personally, this is my reason. The “slow down” is hard to put into words, but alas that is my story. It’s a time when I am in control and focused and for my ADD personality that’s a good thing.