My favorite pastime used to be reading. Now it is bicycling and reading. Together those two hobbies has taught me some life lessons. This topic is actually exciting for me since I have many fun-filled riding experiences. I hope you would find it fun too. And yes, I read books and magazines about bicycling (from touring to racing), and I can assure you one thing: you can never learn to ride a bicycle by reading about it.
The funny thing is my grandson learned how to ride in one try. He used to ride behind me a few times on his tiny bicycle with training wheels. One day, he made a comment that “riding looks easy”. In the back of my mind I was thinking “oh yeah, let’s see how good you are”.
One day his dad took off the training wheels. Then he mounted the bike, held the handlebars with confidence and started pedaling. He was able to control the bicycle on the first try. Amazing kid! His only lesson was watching me ride my bicycle. I guess he can connect the dots pretty fast, right?
Here’s a couple of my riding experiences and the life lessons I gleaned from it:
Before every ride, it’s a good idea to make quick check of the major components of a bicycle. Tires inflated to the right air pressure and free from debris? Brakes work? Handlebars tight, no loose parts? Is there enough drinking water? Enough clothes or overdressed for the weather?
In our daily lives, preparation takes away some of the unexpected. Being prepared makes our journey to our destination much easier, less stressful and more enjoyable. It’s prudent to ensure that equipment, tools and materials needed to finish a task are in available and in good working condition before we start.
Falling into gravel
One day at the end of a high intensity ride, I suddenly found myself riding to the edge of the road and falling a few inches to a gravel strewn path on the road side. To my surprise, my bike continued to ride over the gravel. It slowed and the handlebar was clattering from the rough surface, but it tracked straight. I pedaled slower for a few yards and looked for where the road is almost the same level as the gravel area. Then I eased back into the road.
We’ve all experienced going steadily towards our goal, only for obstacles to come our way. Everything was flowing smoothly, the destination was within sight, the we encounter a rough patch on the road. What are we to do? This is the time when we should maintain our focus towards the goal. Life is full of challenges. Without them, it’s boring. We need to watch our balance, gather our wits and steer right back to the right direction.
I have more to share but I’ll do it in several separate posts.
Have fun riding!