Archive for the ‘cycling’ Category

two-wheeled worldview

October 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Last spring, I bought a bicycle and tried to get serious about riding. After a season of fits and starts, I had a “breakthrough” about a month ago that has led to me getting out and riding quite a bit. While I’m nowhere near the level of some of my hardcore friends who ride for hours at a time, I’m up to about 12 miles a trip and really starting to enjoy how it feels to cover the miles and overcome the obstacles that present themselves on the road.

As I was on my ride yesterday morning (and loving the 45 degree weather), I found myself thinking about how different the perspective is when you are traveling under your own power. I don’t know if it’s being exposed to everything around you or the work required to get somewhere, but, for me, things are different on my bike. While not earth-shattering in any form, the differences seem significant to me.

1. You see things differently: I was riding down a road that I drive almost every day, but the (much) slower pace revealed some things about the familiar setting. I found 2 or 3 spots that I want to come back to with my camera to shoot. There is a lot more time to notice and anticipate hills and potential troubles ahead. I’ve seen snakes, massive caterpillars and grasshoppers, and some great sunrises.

2. You hear things: When I was just riding a loop around the neighborhood, I wore headphones. Now that I’m out on the open road, I leave them off so I can hear traffic and rabid dogs coming after me. But I hear a lot more than that. Just a mile or so south of my house is almost rural. There’s a rooster that I hear every morning and a couple of donkeys that I’ve never seen, but hear all the time. Yesterday I was riding along a stretch of road bordered by tall grass and kept hearing small animals or birds running away as I passed.

3. You hear yourself: I don’t just mean the gasping for air and popping knees (although I hear plenty of both), but thoughts, prayers, and even random songs (Radiohead’s “Creep” was on constant rotation yesterday). My time on the bike has turned into meditation, revelation, even inspiration. I don’t live a life with a lot of quiet hours, but if I’m going to ride, I don’t have a choice.

4. You hear God: The heavens really do declare the glory of the Lord. The rocks (and birds and trees and horses) cry out. All of the sights and sounds and thoughts point back to the One who is waiting out there every morning.

When I bought the bike to start riding, the point was exercise. What I’m learning is that there is so much more out there than the burned calories and that’s what keeps me pedaling.

Categories: cycling, else, health, Jesus