Bike To Work Week has been an extraordinary experience for me. I have received so much encouragement and advice. I have already shared my experiences for Day 1. On Day 2, Tuesday, I had to turn the key on my car to take my Mother to the doctor. To be honest, I was relieved that she asked me. I woke up feeling sore in places I do not care to talk about. On Wednesday, I made it a little further up the hill…even with the knobby tires. I had to stop on the ride home to catch my breath. I sat under a tree rehydrating. I am sure passersby considered it a real sight. Nonetheless, I got through it. Thursday, Day 4. All I can say is, “Ouch!” I am sore…but it’s a good kind of sore. My husband made me reconsider my ride on Thursday, which I did. However, I’m back on the bike again today.
Wednesday as I was pedaling along (up the monster hill) and gasping for breath (I really need to change to street tires), it occurred to me that riding a bicycle is a lot like getting through life.
Uphills and Downhills… No matter what road you travel, there will always be uphills and downhills. Riding my bicycle has taught me to cruise the downhills and build momentum so that when I have to climb, I have more energy to pedal. In life, it’s those downhills that, believe it or not, get you through the uphills.
Know your limits… Riding my bicycle has taught me that stretching my limits can be dangerous. I become wobbly. When I get to that point, I stop and take a breather. The thing is, each day that limit stretches a little further. One day in the near future, I’ll ride without stopping. It’s the same with life, focus on what you are able to do. Take a breather from the things that you have no control over.
Pick your battles… This goes hand-in-hand with knowing your limits. Every time I ride to the station (and I plan to continue riding my bike long after Bike To Work Week), I will face that monster hill. Each time I face that challenge, I have an opportunity to be victorious. Each day I wake up, I have the opportunity to be victorious.
Riding fast… Riding fast is great. I prefer to take my time. The thrill of the ride doesn’t hold a candle to the experience of the ride. I’ve noticed more flowers, fragrances and landscapes this week. They’ve been there all along; but, I’ve missed them all riding in my car. Don’t rush through life without experiencing it.
Who would have thought that riding a bike would offer such metaphorical lessons about life? In the beginning, I just wanted to challenge myself. These were thoughts that actually came to me during my ride yesterday. A little philosophical I know–but I thought I’d share them anyway.