I climbed aboard the spare bicycle I was borrowing. It took me a minute to get used to the seat, handle bars and gear set. It reminded me of climbing onto a new horse, rider and horse each taking a minute to settle into a safe familiar rhythm. I looked around mindful of cars and potholes, legs pushing the peddles forward and off down the sidewalk we rode.
And so it was that my friend Richard and I set out yesterday on a bike ride, despite the predictably hot humid July summer day. Our destination: Chocolada Bakery & Cafe in old Hollywood.
In spite of the 90+ degree temperature predicated by the morning meteorologist, the unexpected breeze was cooling and felt wonderful against my face as I peddled along, weaving in and out of sidewalks and the thinly white-painted designated bike lane. To my surprise, this ride had transported me back to a childlike feeling; I rode along in utter joy and glee. I am not sure if it was the exercise, fresh air or sunshine that sparked my amusement and good humor, but the carefree feeling was liberating.
The simple idea to ride had arisen as a healthier and greener alternative to get something to eat–instead of the instinctual, mundane and expected vehicle of choice: the car.
Our leisurely lunch was delightful, catching up, the way old friends do, touching on conventional topics and concerns that affect our lives. I was grateful that my Saturdays allowed time for such connection. In the end, the simple things mean the most and Saturdays were the perfect time for such indulgences.
Returning home, we retraced our path. The usual cast of humanity showed their character. It was nothing I should take personally, I reassured myself, when impatience or anger spilled out like a bucket of hot molten black tar towards others on the road; this included us. I always appreciated the courteous drivers best.
Almost back to our starting point, we were suddenly beset by a tropical torrential downpour–the kind south Florida knows so well. The usual feeling of panic was absent. Richard and I rode on. Within minutes we were both soaked to the bone. My sunglasses becoming useless as the rain beat upon the lenses; then fogging the way ski goggles do in the mountains. I removed them. Unprotected by metal and glass, my senses took in the wet grass, and sensual smells of the blooming foliage. The warm steam and heat rising off the sidewalk. Novel and refreshing the childlike feeling overcame us both, what fun to be soaked, riding along lighthearted and untroubled enjoying the moment. This day had been a gift.
Bike riding is for young and “old” alike; there are no age limits. The only thing required is a positive attitude! It is multi-generational. Timeless. Maybe you and your family or friends could plan your adventure? Bike rentals are a good way to test the waters and many cities now have bikes for rent!
The benefits of exercise:
1. Weight Control
2. Health/Disease Conditions
3. Moods Improve
4. Boosts Energy
5. Better Sleep
6. Brings sparkle back into Sex life
7. Exercise is Fun
Source: Mayo clinic