Saturday, April 30, 2011

Silent Observer

I have a mountain bike, bought years ago when my husband and I camped more regularly, and while I never even really mountain biked much then, I am grateful to have had it. I dusted it off this afternoon for the first time this year, and I'm so happy I did.

Sitting at home earlier today and contemplating chores and work I have to get done, I thought, "What would be a great distraction?" Yes, this is a tactic many people are familiar with, I know. It's the "how can I get out of doing something by doing something else" technique. Rather popular, really. While this may seem negative, occasionally it leads to something positive being done. Today, that positivity got me off my butt and riding my bike up and down hilly roads east of where I live. It was city riding, so there was not a lot of scenic beauty to speak of, but the burn in my quads and the sun on my face felt fantastic. It's amazing what a person notices when she rides a bike rather than takes transit or drives. Family dynamics are fascinating when people are unaware they're being observed (I realise how creepy that sounds!): kids walking with their friends, laughing and telling jokes, parents pushing their wee ones in strollers, some people with pained expressions, maybe squinting at the sun, maybe reflecting on things, others smiling even while walking alone. Not to mention other people riding bikes and making comparisons. In my case, I was observing how much faster everyone else was going!

It's strange how I suddenly pay more attention to other bikes and their features. Now, don't get this mixed up with me actually knowing something about bikes. Noooo...still quite amateur am I! But I am taking note. People who ride with different intentions have different gear (youth usually with no helmut! Not cool!). Younger kids tend to ride with one hand and carry a convenience store bag (often with pop and chips in the other). Some kids race each other, or compete in some other way, jumping curbs and such. Some adults ride with groceries, and others with their kids. It's amazing to see people out there while the sun's beaming down on Earth instead of them succumbing to the allure of their sofas or computer games! It really made me feel like a part of humanity, seeing the rest of the world waking from a long winter (and lately rainy) slumber.

Happy Spring!!!

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