27 August 2007

I've decided why it is I ride.

This weekend I went on a trail ride with a friend from a local bike shop. We rode on a path he turned me onto. I’m used to riding roads, and seeing cars. I’m also used to some of the local trails. You know what I mean, people, dogs, other bikes, crosswalks, etc. But today would be different; today I would realize a big part of why I was so insistent about taking up riding again.
It was a beautiful morning; a mist was just rising as the sun started to break. It was about sixty degrees or so, and the humidity was there but low. I took my bike out of the car, put the wheel on, and checked everything out. There was silence, to be honest almost eerie silence. I could here bees flying around my rear bumper, kind of silence. I looked around and took in the surroundings. I did a few laps around the lot just to warm up, and right after he showed up we left.
I was riding along, and it was amazing. The wind was whistling through my helmet straps, but it was just quiet enough to allow me to hear the birds and insects. The sun was just breaking through the canopy of the trees lining the trail. I came upon a covered bridge, followed immediately by a second. As I continued to ride I noticed breaks; a small field, a farm complete with the farm dog, an old stone processing plant, they just kept coming and I suddenly fell back about 50-100 feet as I got wrapped up in a cornfield. I started thinking back to what I passed by today; the covered bridges, the farm, the giant machinery of the processing plant against the blue sky. It hit me; I ride to be one with all of it. I ride for my health. I ride because I can. My friend might have said it best when he pointed out, we’re moving through all of it, on our machines, under our control, our power.
It was the single most meaningful ride I’ve had so far. For the first time it wasn’t about how fast am I going to go, how far, will I be able to keep up? It was about me, on a bike, on the road, not thinking, just pedaling, spinning faster, and forgetting everything. It reminded me why I started cycling again.

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