Monday, August 25, 2014

At Peace with My Love of the Bicycle

Early morning walk along a bike path, edging the Columbia River, Oregon. Visually
serene, but automobile commuters rumble nearby, just past the grassy berm.
 We seek our peaceful moments when we can.
In recent years, like many people who are confronted with health issues, or aging parents, job prospects, sick friends or children - what many refer to as "life"- it's a reminder that time does not stand still and we deal with changes as they come.

Bicycles have become an integral part of my happiness, more-so now than ever.

Years ago, I shut TV media off, getting news bits from Internet headlines, on my own terms. It started with 911, which coincided with when I became a mother. I watch happy movies, for the most part, controlling the amount of violence in screen-viewing drama and read novels that transport me to other parts of the world. It's a mental coping mechanism that works for me.

At the same time I started riding more, for errands mostly, to find that "happy place". Adding bike overnights, occasional rides with my husband, and short rides with our children, contributed to not exactly euphoria, but to a peaceful place - a place where I feel calm, think clearly, connect on a digital free level, and can contemplate next steps, whatever those may be.

And, just as importantly, my family, in-laws, parents, seemingly understand when I announce I'm off for a couple hours, a day away, or for a weekend alone. I always return, refreshed.

I long ago realized that my body needs to move. And I see the same restless characteristic in our youngest boy.

I am at peace, finally. I'm happy. And while I have other creative outlets, I'm thankful I've figured out that cycling is a source of contentment on many levels.

Where does cycling fit in your life? Is is strictly for exercise or does riding satisfy something else?


  1. I could spew a lot of words on this topic. But I'll simply say that cycling has helped buoy me through some rather stormy waters, and added a delightful garnish on happier times. It is a sort of physical balance to my spiritual core.

    1. For me it is my religion and satisfies body and soul.

  2. A thoughtful and reflective post.....
    I find that for me, riding my bike has become almost like a form of meditation...It goes far beyond the act of simply the turning of the pedals.....

  3. Nice. I ride for transport and enjoyment. If it were exercise I wouldn't do it :-)

  4. This post struck a chord with me. My main "reason" to cycle (if I need one) is for what I call "headspace" - mental breathing space, time to reflect and absorb and process, all in aid of a simpler, calmer life. I hadn't thought of calling it my religion but it certainly has done my soul far more good than being part of an organised "recognised" religion.

  5. I would agree with Trevor it is a form of meditation I know for me it can certainly clear my head to go out and turn the pedals for a while and I find that it gives me an opportunity to move at a pace that allows me to experience things that I just wouldn't in a car- bird calls, or a swooping eagle or the smell of fresh cut grass.


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