So as predicted to myself this past weekend, I have started finding my meditative center again through my cycling. I went for an hour ride this morning before work, but it felt like the ride was only five or ten minutes long. As a result, I have felt pretty good today and I have been productive at work. My stress levels are lower. I’m handling things better. Thing are all good, and for the benefit of another blogger, less squishy.
Because the United States insists on playing God with the position of the sun in relation to the time, it is now pretty dark when most folks are getting up for work, and it will continue to be like this until the second week of November. This is unfortunate in many ways, one of them including the fact that there are folks that would like to exercise in the magic of the autumn morning breezes to give their day a kickstart. I saw several other cyclists, walkers and joggers as I made my rounds today. Exercising in this manner requires dressing up nearly like a Christmas Tree. You have to be as reflective and noticeable as possible, lest you get hit by a driver who is busy trying to send a text message on their 2005 flip phone while speeding along at 60 MPH.
Since I re-entered the cycling arena nearly 12 years ago I have noticed a considerable decline in my safety comfort level while riding the streets and roads of the area. I have to be more cognizant than ever of what’s going on around me. I obey all traffic signals and signs and I ride my bike as if it were a motor vehicle that is being powered by human means (but not Taco Bell gas). My bike is fitted with a very bright headlight, a flashing tail light, about a dozen reflectors and reflective tape. My cycling jersey has reflective tape on it and my shoes have the same. To make me even more noticeable, Earl brought home a fluorescent safety vest from work that I wear over everything. I can’t help but think that folks can see me, however, there was one close call this morning where a car came speeding down the hill on the non-motored side of the white line that denotes the shoulder of the road. I quickly veered into a driveway to avoid having to eat some gravel.
Of course, we have the other side of the coin of all this as well. There’s a part of me that thinks that common sense would dictate that when one saw me with all this gear on, riding a decent bike and following the rules of the road, then I must be someone that knows what the heck I’m doing on a bicycle. However, every once in a while someone will blare their horn right behind me or slow down to my speed and just tail me down the street. I find this disconcerting. I appreciate that they’re considering my safety and welfare but on the other hand, I think I’m showing signs that I know what I’m doing. Perhaps I’m a little cranky. I guess it’s the effort that counts.
The ride this morning lasted just around an hour. The last third of it was in the rain. Luckily I had my rain gear on. The rain was quite enjoyable and didn’t bother me in the least. It didn’t snap me out of my meditative state, in fact, it helped the situation. I enjoyed it so much that I took a break from work this morning and walked for 15 minutes in the pouring rain.
And it felt good.