Tuesday, July 14, 2009

why I bike

I wrote this for the Roanoke Outside Blog http://ow.ly/h7up. I hope that you take a minute to write your own story!

Why I bike…
By Rhonda Chattin

Why I bike is part obvious and part spiritual. The obvious part is that I started training for a 45 mile Livetrong Callenge to be held in Philadelphia in August. Though I have been on a bike off and on for most of my life, the true love for the bicycle did not really fully return until half way through training for the Livestrong Challenge. I realized once the regular riding began that one of the best ways to improve my odds against a cancer diagnosis is by staying on the bike on a very regular basis. But it became more and the experiences grew.

Bicycling became an addiction one Saturday a weeks after successfully climbing Mill Mountain all the way to the star for the first time, when our crew ventured out on the Parkway for a cruise. It was a tough trek traveling to the Parkway from our Old South West home by bicycle. After 50 minutes mostly up hill, we were there. Let me put it this way, it was a well earned coast once we turned left onto the Parkway! While on that ride the freedom of a child on two rubber tires returned. Even with a helmet on my head, I felt the air rushing past my face, through my hair (what little that stuck out of my helmet), and blowing my jersey. I wanted to throw my hands out and shout look “no hands!”, but traveling at that speed I refrained.

Though in that moment, you cannot help but shout out a woo-hoooooooo, as you glide down the Parkway with all of nature surrounding you. Not trapped inside a steel petrol propelled vehicle, you are immersed as in a pool of scenery. You are using your own body as fuel and moving yourself forward feeling as free as a bird.

The sounds all around you, mixed in with your on breath, absorbing all the sounds of life. There is so much to experience while on a bicycle, that you do not in a car. The rustling of the leaves and trees, birds off in the distance or the hollow woodpecker making a new home. You get up close and personal sightings of owls, chipmunks, bunnies, snakes, deer, squirrels, turkeys and so much more if you are paying attention. You make friends and achieve things you never thought you would or could. The bicycle is not only a piece of machinery that moves you from one point to another it is a source of great experience.

Why I ride is simple, it is all captured in those silent moments when you really know you are alive and grateful for what you are able to get out and do. In those moments when no cars are zipping by and nobody is saying a word and you are there almost paused in time, with the rays of light peaking through the trees that God breezes a whisper in your ear…

No comments:

Post a Comment