I recently read this article on “Zen Cycling”. The definition of which is either pretty self explanatory or (if you read the article) slightly confusing. I gleaned a couple of things from the article in the way of reminders though.
When I first started “seriously” riding my bike I was a big fat dude (I still am, but slightly less so now) and I made some rules for myself regarding the ride. Nothing complicated, just rules like: If you feel like you want to stop and rest, or drink some water, do that; or if you need to stop and fall to the ground and catch your breath and sleep for a while to avoid a heart attack, do that. When I first started riding more, I took my time, I didn’t push myself to get places fast, I experienced the ride. Somewhere along the line though, I got away from that, especially when I’m on my way to, or from, work. My tendency on the commute is to try to get it through as quickly as possible. I want to get home to get shit done, or I want to get to the office to get shit done. The sad part about that is on my way to (or from) work I ride by some really amazing stuff.
So back to this Zen cycling thing…one of the things the article said was, “There must be no sense of urgency.” When I read that line, it reminded me how nice it is to stop and smell the flasky (or roses or what ever). I know it can sound like a bunch of hippy-dippy bullshit, but it really does make for a more enjoyable ride. Not to mention that the idea of my slow fat ass getting anywhere on a bike “quickly” is a bit of a laugh.
So that’s what I did on my ride yesterday. I went out of the way, I slowed down and looked at the world and listened to the world and drank some bourbon and watched some planes take off and watched some planes land and drank some bourbon and talked to some construction workers and climbed a tree.
I took the concept of slowing down and “experiencing” the “world” pretty far, but the process (as it went on) excited me. Excited me in my deepest warmest parts.
I ride my bike because it’s fun. Sometimes I forget though, just how fun it can be. So on your way home this week, stop and talk to a construction worker, or drink some bourbon (or beer if you live in a warmer place than me) and smell the smellables and check the world out.
Or be an asshole and don’t.
Just don’t forget, bikes are fun; and the trouble they can get you into keeps that fun going on and on.
Hugs and Kisses