Sometimes it is nice to be able to ride your bike without a care in the World. Thursday was one of those days. No time schedule, no place to be, no GPS bleeping directions or telling me I’m going this fast (or slow), this far, and how long I’ve been out. No camera for miscreant drivers. No special riding clothes, no helmet.
Just riding along the quiet roads and cycle paths for the shear pleasure of riding a bike. Pootling, being overtaken, not caring how fast I wasn’t going. Listening to the birds, saying ‘Hi’ to pedestrians and other path users. It was bliss.
I think sometimes we forget why we cycle; we are too busy getting somewhere. It is easy to think about the lack of infrastructure, it is easy to concentrate on getting from A to B safely, it is easy to use our bikes as utility vehicles, modes of transport, or training machines for our personal fitness. But we should also remember the joy we have when cycling as a kid – that feeling you get. I call it Freedom.
When can you feel so free as you do on a bike? You’re not constrained by roads, by destinations, by computers, by other people, by anything you don’t want to be. You are no longer constrained by life. You and your bike, in the open air, just being out there.
Freewheeling down the hills, stopping to admire the view, detouring because something perks your interest as you pass. May going a different way just to see what’s down there. All those things we did as kids without a second thought we neglect too often as adults.
The bicycle gives those things back to us. So forget Strava, leave your watch at home, put your phone on silent, and just go out there.
Be a kid again and some have fun.