Friday Group Ride #337

Friday Group Ride #337

It’s a time to count your blessings. Probably all the time is that time, but that’s what I’m working on this week. And when I do perform that particular exercise, the bike crops up near the top of the list, not a particular bike, but the royal bike. I am deeply fortunate that the bike has given me independence, freedom, health, transportation, inspiration, a living, a way to connect with friends, adventure, a place to meditate, a platform for learning to use my hands, a reason to travel, and I could go on and on.

When I met Padraig, however many years ago, I stepped unwittingly into a community of people who think more deeply about bikes and cycling. The need to show up for that community week-after-week, year-after-year, has woven a nice thread through my life, pushed me to write more and better (sometimes). Another blessing.

I set out for lunch today and felt the wind blow through my sweater, heard the fallen leaves skittering and whispering across the road, squinted into the sun.

I confirmed the guys are coming over next Friday night to work on bikes. We’ll pass tools around, express opinions, get little done.

There is so much. So much. Sometimes my life seems so intertwined with the bike that I don’t even notice the bike anymore. I’m just living, or I’m just working. And in these days where everything seems to fraught and so important, I’m glad that it’s the just the bike for me, leaning against the basement wall or taking me to get a burrito.

This week’s Group Ride asks you to count your cycling blessings. What are they? Who are they? When are they?


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  1. Aar

    These days being able to wake up and get in a ride before sunrise is the way cycling is “blessing” me. It’s a perfectly quiet time to release stress and get the day off to a great start.

  2. Bob Read

    Riding again, reliving my indigent racing years, healing after recovering from Hep C. It’s a beautiful thing, being quietly present, a rolling meditation.

  3. sbarner

    Sometimes, as I watch others retire, I start thinking of the time when I would be able to ride anywhere I wish, every day, and not have to work around my commute. But there are so many times when I look over the mist coming up from a field as I ride through the crisp early morning air and I know quite well that I would not be out here but for the fact that I needed to get work on schedule. I am thankful that I am forced into these amazing experiences that I would not otherwise select on my own: riding through a 40-degree rain, coming home at night under a full moon having turned off my light, crunching through newly fallen snow. I live in a paradise, but much would escape me if I didn’t have my forced, hour-long rides as bookends to my day.

  4. Aaron Thomas Smith

    My weekly Saturday ride (as inspired by an East Coast Ride I know of) is what I am most thankful for. Due to work and other obligations, that time has become less regular as it once was. I am not an early riser, but getting there before the rest of my group and sitting down and watching a sunrise is one of the more cleansing things I have in my weekly schedule.

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