I recently got back into riding my bike and admittedly it is serving as a time machine of sorts, causing me to recall the love I had for riding my bike as a child growing up in Chicago. I remember my best friend and I jumping on our bikes and riding from the North side of the city to the edges of surburban Evanston using Lake Michigan as our guide, oblivious to the concept of time and miles.
Since I began riding again some injuries and weight that have found their way onto my body have started to melt away, the most therapeutic thing has been the ability of the ride to make the problems of the day seem insignificant. Riding along streams, trees, grass and being isolated from the urban jungle as the nature absorbs all of the noise pollution is invigorating and has allowed me to harken back to what is really important and center myself.
The role of my parents, family and the host of people in my life that have contributed towards the person that I am and still in the process of becoming is what has been echoing throughout my person when I mount the bike and take off, perhaps it is why I have found myself addicted to it as of late. It is funny how what I considered to be the most mundane commentary or action in the past has turned out to be nothing short of life changing.
When I ride I take varying routes and use an application on my phone to track how many miles and how long I’ve been riding and when the memories come flooding back, often I feel compelled to stop where I’m at to let those thoughts simmer…
Along the ride I take pictures along the way, which made me think of my Dad as well and his penchant for taking pictures of any and everything when I was growing up (it’s funny how we turn into our parents in varying degrees). I took a picture along my route today and when I looked at it, something that he used to always say to me “Always appreciate the ride, because you’ll need to know where you’re at, so that you can determine where you are going.”