In Celebration of Small Things
: A Bike Ride
Bike riding in a new place offers the opportunity to get to know the area at a different level and pace to walking or driving. If I’m staying in a place which is flat and the owners have a bike, I like to ride it. Of course I do it in my own way, I don’t have any lycra, so I will take it easy at first getting to know my trusty new steed. I also take the time to stop, smell the Lemon Myrtle or Eucalypt trees, and get a feel for how the earth is in that particular part of the country and how the locals respond to it.
As you can imagine, riding on a bike path in the city is very different to riding down a rural back lane. Although having said that, I can recall being criticised by a male rider in the country because I had stopped to take a photo. Recently, during a heatwave in Canberra the nation’s capital, I took a break to drink my water and two cyclists who were about to pass me, stopped to ask if I was ok. But then, Canberra is just a big country town, really.
Cycling provides greater opportunities to individualise your journey. It’s possible to go ‘off piste’ (off the path) with a bike in a way that is impossible with a car. It also allows for stopping to chat with friendly locals-human or animal- without the barrier of mechanical protection.
Then there’s the health benefits of using muscles and systems in our bodies which are designed to be exercised. Have you noticed when your body is engaged how mental and creative insights flow together with an improved emotional state? I am most grateful for a bike ride’s opportunity to use all my senses and get in touch with the spirit of place where I find myself.