A few years ago I basically gave up bike riding. After having spent several years racing on and off, I had spent the better part of 2 years spending a lot of time on the bike, I got thin, got fit, and then decided that I was just tired of it.
I wasn't sure if it was watching a guy and his bike bounce down a hill (separately, but amazingly synchronized) at the last race I ever did. Or maybe it was the two people who rode into the shoulder while basically looking right at me in one week commuting home. Regardless, I was done cycling.
But something strange happened a few weeks ago. I went for a bike ride. And I just loved it. Every second of it. So I have been riding again. Not every day, not particularly fast, but riding. It has been great.
You just see so much stuff when you go ride. Neighborhoods, deer, other people, sunsets, hills, more deer, little details that you miss in a car, and yes, even more deer. I guess you would see them running, but 1) I'm usually focusing on whatever random part of me is hurting that run, and 2) you just don't go very far.
I'm not saying that I'm going to get back into racing. Actually, I'm pretty certain I don't ever want to do that again. In fact, I don't want to ride to "train" for anything. I don't want to think about HR zones, or power curves, or Strava segments. I just need to exercise–I need to get back to that healthy person I knew a few years ago. I want to ride because it's a great way to get home instead of driving, it's fun and enjoyable, and it has the great side effect of burning calories.
So here's to riding. Here's to seeing the world a little more close up, at a little bit slower pace, and taking it in just that little bit more.