When we go for a bike ride we rarely if ever have a schedule. What we generally do is start from the city and aim for a mountain or a beautiful rural place. Starting out the ride, we ride silently as we can’t hear anything but the cars and the noise from the bustling city. As we reach the outskirts, traffic thins down and we have space to talk. Pedaling along a meandering path, we converse as the kilometers glide by beneath us.
Free of hurry and the need to train, we take our time. For the journey is the true joy, and not necessarily the finish – a law true to hikers and cylists alike.This stands in contrast to most, where the route is a necessary evil.In this case the journey, though interesting as a whole, doesn’t allow one to truly enjoy the process of getting there.
Fortunately, I realized this principle early on and I looked for ways to avoid driving. I became cyclist in a deeper sense, espousing a different way to look at time.
Cycling teaches us to have time and use it wisely –we shouldn’t try to gain more time, but instead make better use of it.
Even though the trip is shorter in a car, your brain registers it as dead time – nothing stimulating happens when you sit still; caged within a box. Without taste, smells, images or words, the brain doesn’t register anything and the whole experience is shoved roughly down the trashcan of lost moments.I think that if our brains could speak, they would cry out in desperation, tortured by sensation deprivation.
On a bicycle however, the exact opposite happens. The smallest changes in the earth are transmitted through the tires and frame into the cyclist’s body, and something like a 6th sense arises.
The grade of the road surges through the heart, his lungs and his legs. The type of terrain flows through his hands and brain, and the crispness of altitude through his skin.
The experience of cycling is a holistic experience.
But I know that few people are ready to give up the convenience of cars and motorbikes to experience these sensations. Our instincts in this modern world cry out for convenience over experience, with humankind striding through life on the path of least resistance. Perhaps it is this modern concept of the easier road to be taken that Henry Ford envisioned, while mass producing autos for the first time in history.
And as the years go by, instead of finding the problem and breaking free from the metal cage and suck some fresh air, we more and more fall prey to convenience and safety of inactive and mindless moments.The more we give in, the more time we spend looking for boxes to isolate ourselves further.
We even call the essential need for release, sports or entertainment. We shouldn’t consider sports simply an escape from a cage! Even this basic need we have always had as human beings, end up being neutered by “convenience” and “simplicity” in our modern world. It’s sad if you think about it, but even this is better than nothing at all.
Written by me translated to english by S.E. Schneider