Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Pedaling Backwards

I had this published in a recent edition of the Kings County Record.  Obviously July is now over but this could happen when ever I hop on a bike.  As someone who is learning to enjoy a slower pace, it is a blessing to find that I can find it on a bike.  I hope you enjoy the read and that you have a chance to get out to find a pace that suits you.

July is more than half over and I am already wondering where summer went.  Time just seems to fly by at times.  That is why it is good to simply slow the pace down.  How do you slow down time?  I have a couple of key ways to recharge and slow down time.  Sometimes I can even do a couple of them at the same time. 

You've heard me ramble about fishing and for sure that is one way to slow things down.  I've written about camping, hiking, and kayaking and extolled how relaxing they can be.  One activity that I don't participate in or write about nearly enough is cycling.  For many biking is not something they would perceive as relaxing or has a manner of slowing down.  When you watch the "Tour de France" and local Christian Meier, they sure aren't going slow and they are racing against time. 

I admit, when I go biking I don't always relax or slow things down.  I love to see how fast I can go and I don't just coast down hill, I like to pedal to gain more speed.  Even with the speed involved time, or maybe more appropriately, aging, is slowed down.  My mind races back to when I was a kid and I'd race down the Mill Brook Road at a dangerous pace. I remember the jumps we'd build and the trails we created simply to get somewhere we couldn't previous pedal to.

A short time ago I was out biking with my son.  The evening was hot with very little breeze and as we slowly pedaled along the trail, the light breeze kept us cool.  The pace was slow and I was able to take in a lot of the scenery around me.  I wondered why we didn't do this more often.  The trail in Sussex and Sussex Corner is a great way to enjoy our community, exercise, and slow time down.  The slow pace, the church picnic atmosphere, the urban setting, it all led my mind to an earlier time when things were simpler and slower. 

That evening I almost felt like I was pedaling backwards.  As I watched my son I saw myself on my old black and yellow BMX.  Our band of buddies used to bike to "Mac's Grocery" and buy a bag of chips, a chocolate bar, and a pop for under a dollar.  We'd then bike to a nearby hayfield and find a place to sit and watch the road below as we indulged on our treat.  It was a slower time and the memory slowed my mind and suddenly the faster pace of my hectic adult lifestyle slowed as well.

As we age we gain perspective on various things.  In the past I have always been very competitive and that drove me to do things at a fast pace.  I didn't just compete against others but against time and against myself as well.  The lesson learned over this biking exercise has been that I don't always need to compete against the clock or against myself.  Through my youth I may have missed out on some important lessons simply because I thought I had something to prove or had to compete.  Now I realize that biking isn't always a race and that it can be a joy ride.
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