Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fresh Air

Sometimes when I ride it feels like freedom, like gliding effortlessly up and over hills, mountains, across streams and rivers in a state of exhilaration. Almost bliss. Sometimes when I ride it feels like an exercise in self-preservation. I'm focused on conscientious, predictable behavior. Look left, look right, signal, check over the shoulder, be one of the cars. Sometimes when I ride it feels like therapy. The left/right motion of the pedals a soothing balm to my troubled, anxious mind; with each mile, with each hill things that seemed so pressing lose their power over me. And, sometimes, well, when I ride it feels like the simplest of things: fresh air and exercise. Today was the latter.

Of course, it was cold, very wet air because we have entered Portland's rainy season. You don't need to check the weather. It's 40s and raining for the next few months almost non-stop. Still it felt good to be out, my cheeks and hands turning rosy pink as the wind whips and the rain bites. I was running an errand and I always do those by bike. It's probably been six or eight weeks since I drove my car. I have only one rule about riding. It's almost like the Star Trek Prime Directive. I don't have to ride unless I want to. I still have to cardio, stretch, do pilates. Those things I will force myself to do. But, I never force myself to ride. I always want to do it out of love. It's funny, though, that when it comes to doing errands, the prospect of getting in my car and driving that beast around always seems like the worse choice. Oh, and parking. I hate to park. Bike racks right by the door (especially the covered ones) are where it's at. So, today, like most days, I zipped up my coat, donned my helmet and hit the road. I may have been soaked when I got back home, but it's only water. I'll dry. It's definitely better than driving.


  1. I love your attitude, and it's so nice to hear about your effortless ride. Keep them coming.