As those who follow this blog know, I am currently tasked with training a coupla folks who are being promoted from the call center and moving to a more professional role. Both these ladies are great, but both are in our Spokane office. This means I am training 300 miles from home, without my bike.
In our icebreaker session on the first day, they learned that I biked over 200 miles in a day twice in the last three years. One of them said, “I’ve heard a lot about you and your cycling. Why do you like riding a bike so much?”
I love this question..
I could have sat for hours and explained it. I just feel good on the back of a bike. No matter hot bad the weather (Hot or wet) or how long the ride, its easy to get a smile come to my face
There is something about the bike that makes worries and concerns go away. All you have to focus on is the road, the wheels and the sites around you. For as long as the ride lasts, anything else is behind you, trying to catch up, but unable to do so until you stop.
I could have also gone into the sites, views, and overall beauty I saw from the bike, but would have missed from the car. I have covered that more than once here in Strohville.
So in the 5 minutes I had, I tried to tell her all of this and more. I am not sure I succeeded in getting my message across, but I tried.
Yep, I truly love cycling, but today, I had a brand new reason to do so!
With yesterday being a putter around the house day, there just wasn’t a chance to ride. So today, Michelle and I both made plans to get our rears in gear. We were up relatively early (though with daylight savings it didn’t seem too bad) and while she went to the gym I saddled up. It was the first ride in almost 2 weeks.
It was in the 40s outside, and looked like it might rain, so for the first time I broke out the Mountain Hardwear old orange wind/rain shell. I have had it for at least 10 years, and it perfect for fall and winter around here!
I decided to take the hard route into Seattle, which includes a lot of serious hills. Since I’ve been slacking lately, I decided it was time to push it some.
The ride was great, traffic was light, the weather held off, and it was one of those times I balanced the weather and the clothing perfectly. Not too hot or cold, which always makes for the perfect ride.
I was on the last leg of the 30 mile loop, heading up into my town, when I heard screeching tires behind me. Here is where being on the bike was a distinct advantage.
I was able to stop on the should and turn around just in time to see a black SUV cut hard into a parking lot and park. 30 seconds later, a Washington State Patrol car, siren blaring an lights a flashing, passes by, completely missing the parking lot. I was fumbling for the phone when I heard the barista in the drive thru stand yell to a customers “CALL 911!!”
OK, thought I, they are on that piece of it, so I started riding back down to point the cop in the right direction. Just then from out of the parking lot, comes 2 people. An adult with a beanie, and pants that are about to fall off his hips (The kind my mom threatens to pull up and use a staple gun to attach them correctly). He is walking with a much younger version of himself. I was thinking big brother and little brother, but could be father and son.
They were doing the classic: “Just walk slowly, act naturally and no one will notice us!” routine. Yeah, not so much, I and about 10 others noticed them right away. The trooper either got the baristas 911 call, or realized she lost him, and was coming back.
I was on the corner waiting to cross so I could follow them at a distance when saw her coming back, so I pointed her down the side road toward them. There were already people on the other side who got her down to the two walking away.
I decided to hold back at that time and just watch, making sure she didn’t have any issues with 2 people (even though one was a kid). She got the kid in the car, and had the other on the ground, so I decided it was ok to leave. First though, I biked over to the barista and the customer and told them good job!
NONE of this would have happened in a car. If I heard the screech of the tires over the radio, I may not have seen the SUV. Nor would I have had a place to pull over or even hear the barista make the call. In a car you are insulated from the world. On a bike, you are part of everything. A car dulls your senses, and numbs your brain with traffic. A bike keeps you alert and able to enjoy nature.
So, after 45 years (off and on) of cycling, out of the blue, something new happens that gives me yet another reason to love cycling. I just never know what tomorrow holds!