Bill Of Rides
Here are 10 things that I love about riding my bicycle. Now, I don't believe bicycles represent the final revolution. I do drive a car. But I feel way better when I'm on my bike. Together, these are the articles of my personal Bill of Rides.
1. When I ride, I get hungry. But I never think about cycling through a drive-thru fast food restaurant like I do, for some reason, when I am in a car. Instead, I think about home-cooked meals. And a glass of wine.
2. When I ride, I don't have a screen in front of me. We live in front of all kinds of screens: TV screens, computer monitors, smartphones. iPods. Smaller and smaller interfaces. On my bike, I look this way, that way, I look up, and I see a lot. I see big things like eternity, and little things like a pebble being spit up by my front tire. And none of it is framed.
3. When I ride, I wave and say or nod hello to other cyclists. Just because they are other cyclists. I don't do this in a car.
4. When I ride, I use my old Cannondale panniers from back in the 1980s. I got them when I still had that great Miyata 1000 that I toured through the Rockies on with my friends. You can stuff a lot of memories in those saddlebags.
5. When I ride, I think about moving with the elements, not just through them. Hitting a headwind means different gears. Rain means different clothes. It's a challenge. It calls for technique.
6. When I ride, I get different thoughts. Better thoughts. I think about song lyrics, like Dylan's "What looks large from a distance, close up ain't never that big." And other stuff like that.
7. When I ride, I don't use gas stations or parking lots.
8. When I ride, I can sometimes see my shadow move across the trees. And that projection reminds me of the thrill of being in a movie theatre.
9. When I ride, I can travel along the river, not just over it.
10. When I ride, it's with Shelagh. And we have done together for what is closing in on three decades.