Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Winter reluctantly
shakes hands with
These are interesting days. It can rain like crazy in the morning and then we have afternoons like these. I love the contrast. On the one hand the dark sadness of Winter is still evident. Look at the dark clouds and the snow on the foothills. On the other hand, Spring is trying valiantly to prevail. The rejuvenation of new life and warmth is near. The perspective of the bike against the background is exactly how I see life from the bike's seat. Riding through this wide open farm land puts things back in order for me. Small problems and frustrations from work can seem huge by the time I leave for home. By the time I actually arrive home they're back in proportion to the good things in my life.
I admit I'm sort of keyed up a lot of times when I get on the bike. I'm not exactly the most mellow person around. That's one of the reasons I need to ride. Without the soothing therapy of the graceful dance with the bike I would probably be found somewhere with all my nerve endings sparking. There have been reports of spontaneous human combustion. I believe this is what would happen to me if I weren't able to ride.
Granted, a bike is a great stress reliever. The interesting contrast is that it's dangerous to ride when you're stressed. I've experienced some sphincter tightening moments from not listening to my own counsel. The more my thoughts churn on something the more my vision narrows. At the same time my right wrist seems to rotate farther and farther. All of a sudden I'm in hyperdrive at about Warp Factor 9 with a sharp corner streaking toward me like a comet. "Oh crap, Scottie, we need reverse thrusters! Scottie, I need those thrusters NOW!" As great as riding is, sometimes the best thing is to stay off the bike or spend some decompression time before setting out.
So things can start with this rider being a little tense. It doesn't take long for it to melt away. The combination of the huge expanses of scenery, the encounters with the critters I see, the graceful rhythm of the sweeping curves, all conspire to drain me of my stress. Don't you find the feel of the bike moving under you through a series of corners to be enchanting? How can a person not become totally engrossed in the pleasure of it?
I'm lucky to be able to commute some distance on two wheels. I think there's literally a physical blockade to shedding stress in a car. Gary calls them boxes. If you think about it, a box tends to, you know, "box things in". With the windows rolled up it's an enclosed unit. Where do the negative waves go? They roll around inside to attack over and over again. Nothing bad gets out and nothing good gets in.
By contrast, riding puts us out in the open. Nothing to block the flow. Negative waves roll off into the vast universe and good vibes coming in are totally unimpeded. That's what commuting by bike does for me. Whatever you want to call it: Karma, The Force, or Cosmic Energy; it total empowers and rejuvenates me. I just call it Magic.

1 comment:

Steve Williams said...

The photograph really displays the feeling I get when I ride in transitional weather. I would get the same thing when hiking too. There is a cosmic sense of connection or something. Big terrible skies and a feeling that I am alive on the earth.

Great stuff.