“A bike ride fixes everything;” that is a statement that is pretty much completely true. Look, I know if you have a broken leg or a blown out knee and you are reading this you’ll quickly disagree, and I don’t blame you. First, you are right; bike riding will not miraculously mend your broken bones or cure you of illness. So perhaps we should rephrase the statement to, “bike rides fix most things.”
Last week, as the cold rain misted down outside the office windows, it was all too easy to feel defeated. The past weekend’s summer temperatures were washed away into a state of early winter. Where are the sunny 60-degree days and the tack-perfect trails that autumn promises? The northeast over the last couple years has had a habit of going from summer straight to winter without a day’s notice to prepare, but that is a subject for scientist to solve. As we sat going over schedules and planning for days and issues ahead, the screens began to take their toll, and the doldrums of day set in. Sure, we could have called mercy to the dreary day and thought about what if the day was sunny instead, but it only takes about 10 minutes of steady pedaling up a hill to get warm so out the door we went.
It only took the first couple quick turns on the wet leaves to put a collective smile on our faces. On cold, rainy weekdays the trails are empty minus a squirrel here and there and perhaps a deer ducking off behind the falling trees as we rumble on by. There is a feeling that you are getting away with something when you’re riding during normal business hours, like a kid who ditches out during lunch break at school. After a healthy hour of testing the tires ability to grip in wet off camber corners (I found its breaking point once or twice) bumping over logs and rocks, the rain, the cold temperature no longer mattered. When you go for a bike ride, weather that once was the primary reason for your hesitation becomes secondary. The anxious feelings fade as the consumption of oxygen increases, and what was just another day at the office becomes a little more.
Bike rides have rid me of hangovers, have loosened sore muscles, have given me windows of new creative thoughts, have opened up air passages when fighting a head cold, have taken depressing days and made them into something much better and have caused me to become a more patient human being. Sure, a bike ride can’t fix all of you problems, but when a day is smoldering into complacency and you’re feeling the need to shake it out, a bike ride is not a bad place to start.
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