Sunday, May 29, 2011

Biking Is Therapeutic

I am no biking expert. I don't have the right equipment, the right clothes, the right etiquette, the right anything really. A huge part of OHventures is to encourage average, everyday people to get out and be active. Don't let the fancy bike riders out there get in your way of hopping on a bike and going for a leisurely ride through town. Do remember, though, to get a helmet at the very least.

Stop making excuses, find a bike somewhere - anywhere - and hit up the trails in Ohio!

A couple of years ago I received an old bike from a friend. It had no tires, and was about to be taken to Good Will. Even though it looked pretty decrepid, it couldn't have come at a better time. Unbeknownst to me, this bike became an amazing gift. With new tires thrown on, and the help of a friend to deliver it to me, I had in my hands a simple yet energizing gem.

I was just starting out on my biking endeavors, so I was without any riding companions. But this did not stand in my way to, on a whim, take myself on a 30 mile bike ride on the Olentangy Trail that travels from downtown Columbus to Worthington. Some people may look at this as torture, for riding without any companion could be a lonely experience.

Not me. The 30 mile solo bikeride couldn't have been any better. The weather was perfect; not a cloud in the sky, and just a fair amount of wind. The scenery was eye-opening. The trail twisted and turned through parts of the city tucked-away amidst trees and rivers. I had lived here for six years and saw parts of the city I had never seen before. Parks I didn't know existed were now revealed to me.

Best of all, I was able to clear my head and focus. It is when you are with no one else that you discover the most about yourself. No one is around to impress. No one can hold you back, and no one can intimidate you. It's just you and the open road. It is when you are behind closed doors that defines you most.

It is then, also, that you can soak in the most of your surroundings. No one is around to interrupt. As I rode, I soaked in all the sights, sounds, and smells. The smell of roasted marshmallows and freshly cut grass took me out of the city and back to a childhood in the suburbs. The sounds of the pedals brought me back to a time when me and old friends would bike our way around town, to the pizza joint and to each others homes. The sights of rusted soccer goals made me think of the many years I kicked the ball around and all of the different teams I played for.

These are parts of myself that I don't think of everyday, but they are parts of my past that brought me where I am. I am thankful to have these parts of me, and even more thankful to have these parts reflected upon again.

It's strange. Biking is more than for exercise, for transport, or for entertainment. It's therapeutic and refreshing. You'll bring out the kid in you and clear your mind of all worry!

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