I wish to share with you my inner most thoughts and intimate emotions of my most recent love affair – the Joy of Cycling. But this is no ordinary love affair. I know this from its very intensity in my heart. I know this from the very impact on my physical being. I know this from sheer elation and joy that this romance creates in me. And while you may wonder whether this be the suitable forum to reveal such depth of emotion, I’m afraid that sometimes such feelings cannot be constrained, there is no time like the present. There is no better time than now to share with you my love affair for cycling.
Cycling brings me the greatest joy, contentment, pleasure, the greatest freedom. I find wonder in the very simplicity of this machine; awe at the amazing experiences our partnership affords me. Cycling is a gateway to so many places: sky scrapers and countryside, river paths or roads.
Our favourite place together is Battersea Park – the trees, the grass the lakes, all found in one circuit. Children playing in the bandstand or the beautiful shrine. Sporting prowess in cricket nets, football pitches, tennis courts or athletics track. We can while away hours together watching the ducks and dogs, birds and BBQs.
My bike is a means of engaging and connecting with the world, noticing what is truly out there. And of course there is the sheer physical exhilaration as I open up my chest and lungs, pull back my shoulders and lengthen my spine, smiling to the world. There really is no greater feeling!
However our affair is not limited to only these heady exploits. We have a very practical relationship too. Cycling is a of course great exercise. No need for gym or fancy yoga studios, though I should caution you against growth of excessive calf muscles.
But most importantly, cycling is a means of transport. Gone is the tube, the bus, the car. Cycling is the most effective method of getting around town. We feel slightly smug as we slide through the streets, not arm in arm, more seat to seat. As they are slumped in their cars, tempted with road rage. Bunched up like battery chickens on the bendy buses. Or combusting chemicals in a tube.
Yet, as with any other love affair, admittedly there are drawbacks. In the past she has been stolen, vandalised, we have been hit by cars, and I have almost been arrested for rushing her through the lights. And like many partners in this day and age, she can be high maintenance, with her need to accessorise: the helmet, lights, bells, waterproofs and so on, which can detract from the simplicity and beauty of our journey.
And true to say we are not at our best in poor weather, but make up for it in the glorious sun!
However, to confine our love to practical matters is to miss a significant aspect of our relationship. There is a far greater intimacy, perhaps a deeper spiritual connection. We share a profound love of travel. And what I mean by travel is the activity of travel itself – the plane, train, automobile. Some while ago I discovered that for me the beauty of travel was in the pause that it afforded in life.
Having left one world behind at the beginning of the journey and not yet arriving at eh other world at the journeys end. I have found travel a great source of stillness, space, serenity, solidity, unobstructed by external events. And this pause is also our intimacy. A place where we find awareness, presence, our connection with reality, uncluttered by the past or the future, even if only for a few seconds. Cycling is an opportunity to experience and enjoy the now, a window to enlightenment!!
But do not consider us self-obsessed lovers. Cycling brings benefits to all: environmental, social – so long as it doesn’t make her jealous – and entertainment.
I hope you are not offended by my openhearted outpouring of love for my two wheeled wonder. Perhaps this account may even encourage you to seek your own journey of joy of cycling!
If you liked “The Joy of Cycling”, make sure to check as well: 4 Reasons to be Cheerful and An Introduction to Happiness – How to be more happy?