I have been a little low of time lately. We are wrapping up the last of our projects at home for the year, and preparing to nestle down into the snow-drifted landscape of a soft and cold New England winter. Which means sometime soon, I’ll be locking up the bikes for the year. I can never predict when this will happen, as it is always determined by weather and never by me. Last year I rode my bike in New Hampshire on Christmas Eve without a jacket while people did yard work on a day near 60 degrees. I think I won’t be so lucky twice.
In 2016, I have bicycled in five different countries, riding over 2600 miles in over 200 hours. I really ought to be more fluent in Italian or German, much thinner and much more present. But I’m getting there, by well . . . getting there.
I am, as you can imagine, a person who likes to move. I love my stand-up desk. I love to do three things most of the time. I combine my bicycle commute with menu planning, and errands and phone calls while using Siri as my personal assistant as he reads and responds to my text messages through my signature white cord of productivity. But not for all of the 200 hours.
I’ve been meditating a bit. Taking a few moments everyday to slow down or even stop. And there are days that I nearly have to staple myself into a chair to get fifteen minutes of headspace. But what it has started to do, is to free up some of those 200 hours. It has started to make a small percentage of that time available to simply riding. Simply feeling what that is like. Simple right? No . . but how awesome it has been. When I have to lock it up, I have felt the early spring sunshine on my arms, watched thistle seeds fly through the undulating hot breeze of summer and breathed deeply into the syrupy sweetness of Concord grapes along the trails. I have seen an autumn mist rise from lightly frosted ground in the warmth of a new day’s sun.
So, ending my season to ride, I’ll head off into the woods to walk through drifts of snow with a dog and a goose down jacket and mittened hands while waiting for the path to be clear to ride again. And I’ll hope for a continued opportunity to be present.