I did some more loop riding last night. I’m really starting to get into it. I think one of the reasons that I like it so much is that I don’t have to concern myself with car traffic. The road is open to cars, but it is so dominated by bikes and runners and walkers that the few cars that pass are slow and careful. It is nice to be able to ride with a relaxed mind, to not have to constantly be on the alert for hazardous traffic situations.
The loop is three miles in circumference. It is relatively flat, but one side goes slightly uphill while the other side goes slightly down. And, there are no stop signs or lights on the loop, so it is just constant free spinning with a relaxed mind. It becomes quite a meditative experience.
Recently I’ve been questioning my motives in all this running and riding business. It’s not exactly a natural state for a human. I sometimes wonder if it’s an intentional stepping away for me. Do I intentionally choose running and riding because they are easy excuses for solitude? If I’m planning a 2-hour run/ride over the weekend, no one that I know is going to come with me. Of course, this could also just be that I don’t really know that many people or, at least, not that many runners/cyclists.
I think these are some good questions for me to keep in mind and I’d like to keep evaluating the situation, but I don’t think they are the primary drive for these activities. That feeling of meditation that I got last night, though… that, I believe, is what it is all about, that is the drive.
In these moments when we enter deeply into the run or the ride or the meditation, the layers that obscure our ability to directly experience the world in our own pure and real and natural way begin to peel off. And, for a few moments, lost in the rhythm of breath and the form of stride or cadence, we get a glimpse “behind the curtain,” a glimpse into what we are at our core. This seems to me like a real and healthy reason to ride.
See you all at my place tomorrow 6:30am. Go Hincapie!