In many ways adult responsibilities and work seem to make one forget to have fun. Eventually this leads to an empty existence where you might become disconnected from the feeling of having fun. As though it's an alien experience that you can't directly relate to. I've had tendencies like that, and then riding my bicycle makes me remember what playing is all about.
It's hard to put into words. But when I get out on the bicycle on a spring morning like this, the feeling is intoxicating. I reconnect with a little boy that still lives inside me. The energy goes to my legs as though coming from nowhere. I might ride very hard and get really winded. But there's nothing unpleasant about it at all. It's just that little boy inside letting his love for the world out while he charges up a hill and then loves that feeling of coasting down the other side.
I remember what it was like when I was about eight years old and my parents started letting me go pretty much wherever I wanted to on the bicycle. What a wonderful feeling that was on a Saturday morning with the whole day, mine to do with what I wanted. What a feeling of freedom. I knew I wanted to travel the world. As a teenager I ran away from home a couple times. When I was 11 I made it a few hundred miles before being returned home. I mentally projected myself forward to being an adult, and the life I would enjoy, free to make my own agenda, to go where I want to, do what I want to. I'm not quite living the life I had in mind, but it's the bicycle that brings it closer.
Now, particularly on a tour, I recapture that same feeling. Nothing is better than when I first get out on a beautiful morning with an empty road and a rising sun. It feels so wonderful to feel physically fit for the day. Not as a side-effect of grueling effort. Just as a natural side effect of this lifestyle. Here's another day served up by God to enjoy.
The magic of childhood is that physical fitness is just a side effect of living. When I was a kid we didn't watch much TV. There were three channels, and not much on. No video games. When I got home from school I'd ditch my books and pretty soon I was on my bicycle and/or playing in the woods. Each day of fun becomes the enabler for another one.
As an adult it's a little harder to live that way - for me anyway. But more than anything else, it's the bicycle that enables me to come pretty close to that.
The feeling of spring is unique. It gives me new energy to live and enjoy the world.
Does riding the bicycle do similar things for you? Does it bring back memories of a simpler time and rekindle a feeling of freedom?