Why is it the simplest things in life often bring us the most pleasure? I don't mean simple as in comes easy... I mean simple as in humble.
Pleasure... humble... These are words which immediately spring to mind when I look at/think of my bicycle. Humble in its invention and its operation, is the bike.
While riding, I have extra time to sort things out. This is time I would not have zipping around in a car. I'm not anti-car, but let's be honest. The only great advantages of the automobile are; 1) shelter from the elements while traveling and 2) less time traveling (read; sort things out time). Riding in the elements isn't always so bad. At the end of a ride on a hot... or cold... or windy... or rainy... day you feel as though you've accomplished something. You learn something about your character and of what you're made. And I've never experienced a whole lot of self-reflection while blowing my stack behind the wheel. If anything, I find myself... and others... to be very negative while driving. People drive too slow or too fast or don't signal properly or don't notice pedestrians or cyclists in the streets or blah, blah. blah. So, what is done with the time saved in travel?
On my bike, I find myself wanting to engage with others in simple ways. I enjoy exchanging GOOD MORNINGs with walkers, runners and other cyclists. I enjoy the sun prickling at my skin. I enjoy the wind cooling me as my revolutions heat me up. I enjoy listening to nature... man, I'm a weirdo. I enjoy watching squirrels, chipmunks, birds and rabbits do what they do. These are things we consciously or unconsciously avoid while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. The motor vehicle "shelters" us from it all.
I've read and heard other cyclists claim to have their brightest ideas while riding. I don't doubt it for a second. But they believe it's the simplicity of controlling a bike -balance, pedal, steer, lean- which has transformed them into geniuses. I don't/can't/won't buy that! It's the H-U-M-I-L-I-T-Y. We are at the mercy of the elements, the capabilities of the bikes, and our conditioning. That level of S-I-M-P-L-I-C-I-T-Y creates an open, or more importantly, E-M-P-T-Y mind. A humble/simple/open/empty (through a deeper connection to your surroundings) mind is a ripe place for learning. And what could be better than learning how you want to live out your day/week/month/year/life? Now, that's pleasure.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving” -Albert Einstein
Enjoy your ride, genius!