This past month, particularly last week, has been a little bit overwhelming. Not so much stressful, but I could definitely feel myself redlining. I needed to take a breath. Yoga and my practice in mindfulness help me greatly, but I wanted something more. I missed riding my bike outdoors. Cycling is one way I like to decompress and something about riding outdoors is spectacular to me. Most of you know that I love cycling; whether it be on a stationary bike or an outdoor bike. Anything that's a human-powered bike, I enjoy it. I had to give up outdoor cycling for a while because my last few rides I have experienced some close calls of being hit by a motorists.
I haven't been able to enjoy an outdoor bike ride in town. Manteca has became more populated in a short amount of time, which means more drivers and more traffic. The last few times I went riding, I almost got hit by drivers who weren't paying attention. I almost got hit at a crosswalk with the bright walking person sign displayed. This was seemingly the norm on my rides and its not something I am willing to risk anymore so I just stopped riding my bike in town.
Well yesterday, early in the morning right when the sun began to rise, I decided to go for a bike ride. I thought it would be the best time to ride with the least amount of risk. But I changed something. Although, I can't control others and their driving habits, but I can do what it takes to keep myself safe. Now, I normally have in my Air Pods in my ears and put the music low and ensure its on the transparency setting so I can "hear" my surroundings. I decided to not rely on music to get me through my bike ride, but relied on my inner monolgue and spent time with myself. It was me on the road with my thoughts and it was grand!
I reflected on my work week and how I can find a deeper sense of peace. With every pedal stroke I could hear the soothing sounds of the wattage of energy I was using from the pedal strokes to the tires on the pavement and it was singing me a tune. It was like a humming sound; it was peaceful. So two things happened on this ride. 1) I rode my bike without music; and 2) I enjoyed my time with myself.
This may seem odd, but I never ever considered riding my bike without having tunes in my ear. It was something I have always done and when my safety was continuously threatened, I completely shut out something I loved. I was blinded by fear of being hit and an underlining displeased attitude towards motorists - - in relations to riding my bike. I was fortune telling into my future that hasn't happened yet, which kept me from finding an answer as simple as don't bike ride with your Air Pods in. Silly isn't it.
As I write this, the more I realize it seems silly, but it's what happened. I missed the simplest solution. I was focused on the negative aspect of my bike-riding situation, versus considering to change something I was accustomed to. If I never would have explored the option of not riding with music I would have missed one of the most amazing rides I have been on. Of course this ride was much more than a simple ride ride, but a great lesson of being open-minded.