Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Suburbs of Chicago, IL
Bikes: 2011 Surly Crosscheck, 2014 Novara Randonee
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I find that by keeping myself acutely aware of my surroundings, I can find a lot of small joys that I'd have missed otherwise. I practice this by listening to every sound I can.
If you're in the woods, start with the most apparent sounds: wind, tree leaves, traffic, maybe the sounds of your feet or tires hitting the ground. Next, move deeper. Listen to smaller sounds, like birds chirping, or a leaf hitting the ground from a tree. Try to see if you can hear things rustling around, or even a small piece of your gear clicking about that you weren't listening to. Try to keep listening deeper and finding sounds that you weren't hearing just a second ago.
I find, that after a few minutes of doing things, I'm not only hearing but seeing things I wasn't before. A swirl of wind through the grass. A tiny animal darting out of the brush. The very instant the sun ducks behind a cloud. The play of a shadow or a certain splash of color. And, I find, I'm enjoying myself on a much deeper level.
In short, if you're getting tired of your surroundings and need a fresh pair of eyes, stand there for a moment until you experience something you hadn't, and realize how much depth there is right where you stand. You might find the next few miles much easier pedaling.