I get a big stupid smile in my heart when I'm moving through places that amaze me. This one moment last night, coming back from the velodrome out in Queens, biking past Shea Stadium and through a huge cloud of smoke from a car fire.
And then this morning, after a pre-work ride to Piermont, coming back across the Hudson River, seeing Manhattan in all of its glory.
I bought a cute little cycling hat. This is one of the best things about cycling.
If I glance at myself in the mirror, I can see a dark smudge on my forehead, about two inches long and three quarters of an inch wide, next to my hairline. I figured that it was from biking all day in the sun on Saturday - I got tanned in accordance with the vent holes on my helmet. No more!, I declared, and bought a cute little cycling hate, so as to avoid silly through-helmet tan patterns.
Also because it's a funny little cycyling hat. It says "Columbus" on it, which is the kind of steel that one of my bikes is made of.
This morning, several people asked me how my ride was, so I told them that I did a longer ride before coming in to work. They asked how long, and I told them forty five miles, which is the truth. "Wow, you must be in really great shape," is a frequent comment I get, but I'm not too interested in it.
I prefer to talk about how I'm just really proud of myself for having abandoned some unhealthy habits in favor of this far more healthy habit. I'm pretty proud of what I can do with my body - it's an achievement for me, and it's changed my lfie significantly.
I'm wary of sounding as though what is important to me is the Biker Points that I rack up - the mileage, the rides, the placings in races - because at the heart of it is the fun I have, the mobility I've aquired, and the pleasure that I take from it.
I take some inspiration from Jeanette Winterson's Product is the excrement of action
(which, by the way, mimics some of the stuff we talked about a few years ago about elevating Lived Experience to the status of Art; oh, and, apologies for linking to crimethinc...): "After all, it's so complicated to have to worry about whether you are really enjoying yourself, how you are feeling in the moment. It is easier to focus on the results, the hard evidence of your life; these things seem easier to understand, and easier to control."
When I'm in the saddle, I'm feeling my legs, my hands, my ass, my pace, the wind in my face. I'm looking at the view, I'm moving through it, I'm feeling the pavement through my tires, I'm feeling my feet through the rotation of the pedals. These moments come frequently and they're moments when I am truly enjoying what I am doing, and I can honestly say that I am present to my body, to my self.
I learn lessons from riding.
Labels: bikes, engagement, musing, new york city, rides