Urban horse

Bike Blog

On my way home–I stopped to capture the day!

The friendship began unexpectedly, but the magic was there all the time. Some where along that ride I realized the familiar relationship had grown. With the wind blowing against me and the sun on my face I peddled hard, breathing in the salty sea air and listening to the strong waves breaking along the beach—the sand barely visible from my vantage point as I peddled A1A. I had the option of the usual: my dependable car, or my bike. This morning I chose my bicycle; dodging orange and white road construction barriers and traffic, I held to the white markings which designated my lane.

There was a certain freedom I felt when I climbed aboard my silver steed. Uniquely the comradely had been building over the past four months and lately brought back memories of shared adventures aboard my very real horse; that strong heartfelt companionship of my chestnut mare so many years ago.

Instead of the clip-clop of hooves as we walked placidly together along the asphalt, it was the soft winding sound which emanated from the black steel gear-wheel and linked chain’s forward motion as it  circled around the circumference completing its rotation propelled by my determined quadriceps and hamstrings.

These days, I was the one exerting the physical effort not her, as the breeze forced me to peddle harder slowing my speed considerably in spite of working harder. My leg muscles called out.  My mind wandered.

Without the customary rack, I was forced to chain my bike to different Palm  trees in the hot sun.  Was this the birth of our relationship I wondered? Years ago, I securely looped the leather reins around the metal railing which served as sort of a modern hitching post running into a near-by Kmart for something to eat. Today, however, it was quite the opposite as I used a living tree for my technically inanimate object; worried when I walked away, would my silver steed be alright?

It’s funny how we attach, personify and build relationships with and to certain things. Surprisingly, my bike is my companion when I choose errands, meet friends for lunch or a quick trip to Whole Foods or local farmers market. I enjoy combining the exercise with being outdoors, and there is something satisfying about not always having to depend on my car. I have my bike routes and my car routes. Each offers its own advantage. Often hurried in my car, I select a different mind set when I swing my leg over the seat of my two wheel silver urban horse. There is a different pace and freedom that somehow brings solitude and peace when I peddle along in my own world and orchestrated break from the usual craziness of today’s hurried rat race. On my bike freedom really is a state of mind.

“Inspired wellness from within”

Cathy Silver, HCBike 2

The Bike Ride

Soaked to the bone after the Rain Storm but feeling good from the Ride

Exercise–does a body good!

I climbed aboard the spare bicycle I was borrowing.   It took me a minute to get used to the seat, handle bars and gear set.  It reminded me of climbing onto a new horse, rider and horse each taking a minute to settle into a safe familiar rhythm. I looked around mindful of cars and potholes, legs pushing the peddles forward and off down the sidewalk we rode.

And so it was that my friend Richard and I set out yesterday on a bike ride, despite the predictably hot humid July summer day.  Our destination:  Chocolada Bakery & Cafe in old Hollywood.

In spite of the 90+ degree temperature predicated by the morning meteorologist, the unexpected breeze was cooling and felt wonderful against my face as I peddled along, weaving in and out of sidewalks and the thinly white-painted designated bike lane.   To my surprise, this ride had transported me back to a childlike feeling;  I rode along in utter joy and glee. I am not sure if it was the exercise, fresh air or sunshine that sparked my amusement and good humor, but the carefree feeling was liberating.

The simple idea to ride had arisen as a healthier and greener alternative to get something to eat–instead of the instinctual, mundane and expected vehicle of choice: the car.

Our leisurely lunch was delightful, catching up, the way old friends do, touching on conventional topics and concerns that affect our lives. I was grateful that my Saturdays allowed time for such connection.  In the end, the simple things mean the most and Saturdays were the perfect time for such indulgences.

Returning home, we retraced our path. The usual cast of humanity showed their character. It was nothing I should take personally, I reassured myself, when impatience or anger spilled out like a  bucket of hot molten black tar towards others on the road; this included us.   I always appreciated the courteous drivers best.

Almost back to our starting point,  we were suddenly beset by a tropical torrential downpour–the kind south Florida knows so well. The usual feeling  of panic was absent.  Richard and I rode on.  Within minutes we were both soaked to the bone.  My sunglasses becoming useless as the rain beat upon the lenses; then fogging the way ski goggles do in the mountains. I removed them. Unprotected by metal and glass, my senses took in the wet grass, and sensual smells of the blooming foliage.  The warm steam and heat rising off the sidewalk.  Novel and refreshing the childlike feeling overcame us both, what fun to be soaked, riding along lighthearted and untroubled enjoying the moment. This day had been a gift.

Bike riding is for young and “old” alike; there are no age limits.  The only thing required is a positive attitude!  It is multi-generational. Timeless.  Maybe you and your family or friends could plan your adventure? Bike rentals are a good way to test the waters and many cities now have bikes for rent!

The benefits of exercise:

1.  Weight Control
2. Health/Disease Conditions
3. Moods Improve
4. Boosts Energy
5. Better Sleep
6. Brings sparkle back into Sex life
7. Exercise  is Fun

Source: Mayo clinic

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