Riding a bicycle is one of the best ways to explore nature and experience the world that we live in as well as a pleasurable, environmentally friendly and economical way to get around, get exercise and to meet people or to become closer to friends and family.
Traveling through towns or into the country at bike riding speeds is invigorating and allows you to cover more ground than you could by walking and to enjoy and explore the world more personally and in more detail than you could by driving in a car.
I'd like to write a little bit about the benefits of bicycling, the joy of bike riding and finally about the complete love of bicycling and what I call Bike Riding Nirvana.
This article is not intended to be a guide or a tutorial. It is not about specific bike riding styles or preferences (racing, mountain biking, touring, etc.) nor is it about a specific ride or event. Rather, I would like to try to put into words the joy and love of bike riding (biking, cycling, bicycle riding, bicycling) as it applies to all forms of bicycling and to myself personally.
Here are some of the obvious and maybe not so obvious benefits of bicycling:
What gives you the most enjoyment or pleasure from bike riding is, of course, going to be personal and will be dependent on your own riding style and preferences. Although most of this article has to do with the love, joy and benefits of bicycling in general, the following sections will be a little more slanted towards my own personal preferences than towards all bike riding styles in general.
As for myself, I love nature, being outdoors whenever possible and a long bike ride on a beautiful day. The love of bike riding is the wind on your face and the sweet smell of flowers in the spring as you glide down a gentle hill. In summer it's finding and exploring new places, the cooling effect of a gentle breeze as you ride through a canopy of trees, a bike path bridge over a stream or even the sound of thunder and the smell of the coming rain.
In autumn, the love of bike riding is a fast ride along a winding bike path, the smell of dried or burning leaves, the color of the trees in the distance or right alongside the bike path that you are on and a scenic sunset at the end of a long ride.
In any season, the love of bike riding is a ride with your friends or your family (together or separately) and the casual or insightful conversations and observations and the unexpected events that inevitably bring us all closer together.
For the most part, Bike Riding Nirvana is the combination of any or all of the of the love, joy and benefits of bicycling, listed above, at the right time and place and when you have become aware that it is happening.
Webster's third definition of Nirvana is: "a place or state of oblivion to care, pain or external reality". Well, we have to make some minor modifications for Bike Riding Nirvana since we do have to deal with reality (traffic and safety issues!) but for the most part it is still a meditative state that involves the combination of the love of bike riding and Nirvana.
For me, this is usually after I have been riding for a while, when I'm feeling alive, when I've left my cares behind and am in a meditative frame of mind. In other words when I am really enjoying the ride!!!
Has anyone else felt this? :-)