I noticed something on a ride this weekend that got me going on the whole “cycling steals my life” thing I sometimes get into. It was a beautiful afternoon ride with a close friend. It had been a week since I’d been on the bike so I had fresh legs and a whole craw full of troubles. Warming up and catching up on each other’s news, we were riding along trading rants, passing the righteous indignation back and forth like a fur-ball hacky-sack. It felt good to judge the wicked.
Then we shot through Woodville and out Natural Bridge Road, and the black asphalt was so smoothy smooth and black-tar new that we fell in line, hit the drops, and started pedaling to make mama proud. And of course my mama was gonna be prouder than his mama if I had anything to say about it. You know how it goes.
Several zentastic miles later, shortly after we shot past the actual Natural Bridge Spring Group and out into the pine forest beyond, we came out of the trance and started riding side-by-side again, at which point I thought we’d turn back to our tasty dish of hate. The only problem was, I swear to God I couldn’t remember a single thing we were bitching about.
Seriously, I went to the word bank and all that was available that a human might understand was how Piney everything smelled and a random thought that I think had to do with chocolate, or at least really rich dirt. I was Pacified, with loads of sweet miles ahead.
Back home later, after 50 miles or so and an extremely proud mama, I still couldn’t remember the problem. Any problem.
That stack of papers I HAD to grade this weekend: whatever. The pile of paint cans blocking the garage door: they’re suddenly all part of the plan. My wife’s increasingly alarmed reports concerning our “flea problem”? I propose the one who cares the most take care of it, and keep me posted.
You see where I’m going? Pacified.
Then there’s the Sasquatch young-uns. A good daddy gathers the child-beasts and heads out to the swimming hole with what’s left of a nice afternoon. “Who wants to go to Wakulla Springs?”, I ask ¾ heartedly. Hey, I’m willing, but one kid’s battling the Final Boss and the other just started a school project, and I haven’t given them any notice because how was I supposed to know how long I’d ride? It’s a beautiful day out there!
“Besides, come on, ya’ll. Do we really have to go anywhere when it feels so good just laying around in this lovely time and space in our own rosy skin? Can’t you hear that sweet, low, hum of life and feel that warmth spilling from your spent heart? Who wants a smoothie?”
It’s a problem that, at least for me, “needless worry” anxiety and “get things done” anxiety and “personal values” anxiety all fall to the same elixir of cycling bliss. “No worries” covers a lot of ground on the back side of a soul ride.
Guest Blog by Sasquatch