One of the wonderful side benefits of writing this blog is that women from all around the world contact me to share their stories like this great story from Texas, entitled “When my bike became my best friend”. Who could resist such a declaration of love for their bike?
Before the pandemic, Madhuri Bandla taught at a business school that moved online and found herself with a completely different schedule. She lives in Texas and rides a Trek hybrid bike solo and clearly smitten. Here is her story……………………..
I can’t believe I have a new BFF (Best Friend Forever) and one that I never envisioned. Yes, it took a pandemic to realise that my cycle could become my new best friend. From a prior busy schedule of driving to work, kid’s school, and social commitments, the world suddenly shrank with restraints on travel and even local socialising. But my bike quickly doubled up and filled some of the new gaps that arose after COVID-19. Cycling helped in stepping into the great outdoors and being on the move; an experience where the journey itself became the destination!
Just keep moving, as Einstein said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving”. While the pandemic gave a feeling of being stuck, cycling was the opposite and gave a feeling of moving forward. Cycling regularly energised me and even with unmasking and returning to normal life, cycling will continue to be a part of my life.
There is both freedom and joy in pedalling away to your heart’s content. Cycling is enjoying the wildflowers dancing in the wind, setting your own rhythm even when life is a whirlwind.
Integrating mind, body and spirit
Focusing on the road keeps your mind sharp, body balanced and the spirit happy and carefree. Although counter-intuitive, even when you feel tired or down, just go for a spin and you can feel the difference after a ride. Cycling elevates your spirits.
I’ve explored secret trails and back routes on my cycle. Sometimes it’s the GPS and Google maps and sometimes it’s my own inner compass navigating me and guiding my next turn or direction.
Sunrise and Sunset Rides
A sunrise jaunt gives a refreshing start to the day. Early morning biking is not only invigorating but gives you a precious dose of morning sunlight for your soul. While I enjoy listening to music while biking, sunrise rides don’t require headphones. You can enjoy birds chirping their sweet and sharp melodies as you witness the glorious morning sun waking the world from your bike.
World Bicycle Day is celebrated on June 3rd and was designated by the UN as a day dedicated to cycling. What better mode of transport than cycling which has zero pollution! Your own energy is the fuel that keeps you moving. Urban planning of the future will be more oriented toward having cycling pathways to promote environmentally friendly transport and a sustainable lifestyle.
Whether it’s up the hills or down a backroad, cycling gives you a natural cardiovascular workout and is a fun way to burn away some calories and improve your fitness quotient.
Research reflects that cycling helps in building new brain cells as it boosts oxygen to the brain. I’ve personally felt creatively inspired when I cycle.
Carefree to Competitive
I started with having my own standards to compete with myself and raise the bar! When I first graduated to 10+ double-digit miles on my cycle, I was ecstatic. I never thought miles would be a milestone for me! I’m sure race riding is fun too, but for now, I enjoy my solo riding.
Discovering Hidden Gems
The joy of discovering hidden gems during your rides adds to the pleasure of cycling. From old bridges with a story, or delightful encounters with surrounding wildlife, I began writing stories from the trails, thanks to cycling.
Rails to Trails
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a national movement to reconnect America and transform communities with trails and pathways. Check out The Great American Rail Trails project of exploring America’s heritage by trail and connecting cyclists across the country from Washington DC to Washington State. I hope to one day to experience this trail when it is fully functional.
Well, because of the pandemic I discovered a new buddy and one that will be in my life forever. Every ride and every mile brings new possibilities and a boost of happiness hormones. If you haven’t cycled in a while, head out for a quick ride and you will find that life gets better on a bike.