Did you ever cruise around on your bike as a kid?
I remember doing this all the time. My neighbors, sisters and I would just ride and ride often in circles, but it usually felt like a long ways. We would just cruise. There was no particular rhyme or reason to our direction. We would let the warm summer air caress our faces and look out at the happenings and goings on around us. I recall this then as being just a part of life, but today I call it therapeutic. While riding home from work the scenic way today that is just what it felt like, that feeling of cruising the neighborhoods with no care in mind. I was cruising for cruising's sake. I was watching the happenings and goings on around me. I felt the warm air on my face and the gentle breeze brushing by keeping me cool. I love riding my bike.
This past weekend I went on a 25 mile bike ride to a friend's house on Vashon Island with a coworker of mine. We rode our bikes right onto the ferry walking in between the cars to tie our bikes to poles along walls of the boat. We went up to the top deck with total faith the knots we tied were strong enough to hold our bikes in place, so when we came back they wouldn't slowly be sinking to the depths of Puget Sound. Our faith was true. Shortly, we were to shore and unloading off the ferry. Suddenly we found we had left the city and discovered ourselves amongst the peaceful setting of beautiful Vashon Island. Vashon Island is mostly forested with rural agricultural areas and a few small towns. The roads are windy and hilly and sinuously find their way along the shoreline. Perfect for cruising. The three of us set out with such joy. I swear we each had big smiles on our faces each of our miles, including the hills. Three adult women cruising like kids again.
Riding my bike always reminds me of the freedom I have to go just about anywhere. It also reminds me to slow down and to notice the small things, the happenings and goings on around me. I can feel the breeze, smell the ocean water, see the river flowing, hear the birds chirping, and watch people enjoying their evenings on their porches. Life slows down. I love riding my bike.