Imagine Northeast Iowa

A blogging extravaganza by, for, & about Northeast Iowa.

Getting on the Bike
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Getting on the Bike

It was a darned if you do, darned if you don’t sort of morning for me when it came to thinking of a bike ride this dreary Saturday morning. I’m a huge proponent of taking advantage of riding in tolerable weather which usually drives others away from doing much. It seems if there are dark, grey clouds in the horizon then most people will shy away from biking. It decreases the amount of paved trail traffic by at least 50%, if not more. I actually like riding in the grey, “I might totally open up and drench you” days because there are certain smells that give me comfort.

The calm quiet that fills the world, and the chirping of birds; the stillness and contrast of the darker grey colors vs. the pale sandy yellows and browns. The little sprigs of green that are peeping up from the ground are shocking in color.

The wind at times was a frustrating sort of venture, I spend enough time in it yesterday and my lungs were saying “enough!” I met a man on the trail pulling a trailer with a kiddo (or two) inside, we exchanged hellos. I found myself holding a deep respect for him, and anyone who takes their kids out in trailers and pull them around the entire loop. Kudos to all of you.

I kept going and felt my thighs and calves burn, the muscles were working hard while the wind blew at me from the side. A usually fun downhill became me pedaling down just so I could keep going-there wasn’t a way to gain speed.

I saw my first bobolink bird of the season, remembering it from last year and the strange calls that it made. The little whitish/yellow cap of feathers on top of its head was almost garish today. Finally when I came down the switchbacks there was a reprieve in the wind. Glorious quiet and calm surrounded me and I just hauled. Shifting up into a harder gear so I could go faster and make up for lost time (not knowing what that time was for I didn’t have a clock or computer to my avail.) I just soared and it felt amazing. Leaning over my bike, I felt powerful and strong; something I have been lacking the last few weeks.

When I’m feeling emotionally vulnerable and weak, a good bike ride gives me some positive feelings. I feel the muscles in my legs working, my lungs stretching, my heart pumping, and sometimes my mind is completely blank. I love when I find myself just immersed in the surroundings and the feelings of biking rather than dwelling on all of life’s problems and worries. On my bike is one of the only times I do not feel stifled with worry.

I rode past the eagle watchers, thanking them for (paying attention) and moving over. I mulled over how inconvenient that spot is, because in the greener months plants/weeds/trees will make seeing through to the corner (ahead of time) much more difficult. One will always have to take that corner with caution and concern now vs. speedy and carefree. Oh well.

When I got home, done with my ride, I felt a bit happier. I’m still thinking too much of other stuff going on, however it has a calmer note to it. A long work day to follow, at least I can say I took some time to take care of myself before being stuck inside all day long. Now I’m ready to face the day and whatever it may bring. You might not feel up for a bike ride sometimes, and it may not feel amazing the entire time you ride.

You might wish you were at home instead of being on the bike, just give it a chance and let yourself have some time to just “be.”

More about ride, rain, bike

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