Day 8 of 30 Days of Biking: Filling My Senses

Over the winter, I've discovered that I certainly can ride in the cold, but I can only pretend to like it; I could never love it. After my ride today, my conviction on that matter is stronger than ever.

My ride to work in the morning was warmer than usual, but still chilly. I felt a warm breeze for the first time in weeks, and as the day wore on, it only got better. My ride home, however, was absolutely magical.

As I approached "quitting time," I was actually more excited about the prospect of riding my bike in the comfortable 70 degree air than I was about punching out and going home for the day. That's the difference between commuting by car and commuting by bike -- I don't look forward to driving my car, I only look forward to the places I'm going to. On my bike, however, the destination is secondary. It's the riding that I love. And another thing: I've never experienced a fight to stay awake on my bike.

A few weeks ago, someone asked me how long it takes to ride to work. I told them it takes an hour and a half for me to complete the 18 mile trip. And, obviously, it takes just as long to get back. They were stunned, but then I explained it like this: I don't get up at 6 am just to get to work by 9, I get up at 6 am so that I can ride my bike for an hour and a half before work. Add in the evening ride home, and that's a total of 3 hours out of every day that I get to do the thing I love more than anything else.

Wouldn't you welcome an opportunity like that? Wouldn't you take the chance to do something you love for 3 hours out of each day?

I hear from a lot of people who wish they had more time to do what they love to do. Well, the saying is true; if you love something, you make the time. Some people golf, some people write, others paint or play an instrument... For me, riding a bike is more than just a way to save money on gas and lose weight, it's a soul rejuvenation.

For the first time in months, I was able to get away with wearing a shirt with an open jacket. I rolled up the sleeves and even rolled up the legs of my sweatpants so that I could soak in the sun and let the warm air rush across my bare skin. I admit, it was fun to pretend I was a tough guy who didn't mind the cold back in March, but a small part of me dreaded it. I felt good that I was riding my bike, but I was tired of suffering for it. This ride, however, was so much different. It reminded me of why I started doing this in the first place. The feeling of absolute freedom was astounding. I pedaled effortlessly up each hill, coasting down the other side. There was no suffering, like days before. There was only bliss. I felt as though I could burst out in song at any moment.

On my way home, I could hear frogs croaking. I could feel the damp air that lingered about in areas where water flowed and collected. I could smell the clean, oxygenated air that gently blew through densely forested fields. And the sun, though mostly obscured by clouds, was a blazing red orb, painting the sky in the most dazzling array of pink and blue. Why can't every day be like this? My only wish, at this moment in time, is to do it again, tomorrow.

Note: There is no Day 7 post as I decided to give my legs a rest, yesterday. I'm well aware of the healing factor of a recovery ride, but I really just needed some time off. My apologies.


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