When you have a better sense of the way the environment flows through your own body, you’re liable to work harder at taking care of the environment. –Richard Nelson, “The Way of the Hunter”
Cycling is a creative act. Everyday when we practice what we love, we weave together a sense of our own health and the environment we draw our life from. In this way culture emerges.
The most important things for human beings are clean air and clean water. —Akira Kurosawa, “Dreams”
My cycling journey took off 21 years ago in Reno, Nevada when I sold my car and bought a bicycle. I rode out of necessity to work and to live–errands, chores, and exercise. Reno offered clean air (for the most part), fresh mountain water, and enough places to ride to help me get started. The sense of renewal, authenticity and simplicity cycling brings to my life is special.
The best predictor of whether we are happy or not is our social relationships. –Meik Wiking, “The Little Book of Hygge”
I was (and still am) amazed at the intimacy cycling creates, both with people and place. Somehow cycling expands our in-group, we just feel more humane. I think it has something to do with being in touch with our vulnerability, which is at the core of our human state. Accepting this helps us build intimacy with all of our neighbors and changes our expectations regarding the terms we put on nature. We recognize and respect limits, experiencing ecstasy from ordinary things, like being outside for sunrise and sunset, easily swayed by each season’s grace.
And so it goes, and cyclists know! No matter how you get started cycling, the physical habit immediately delivers positive spiritual experiences–freedom, adventure, the power of will and action. Bicycling is emancipation in action. Feel unbounded freedom every day, real freedom within life’s constraints. Everyone who has experienced it can’t help but wish all could experience the freedom of cycling personally. Our wisest policies would encourage as much cycling as possible to help people flourish. Cycling increases confidence and self knowledge, improves daily social relations and decreases disparities, nurtures health, and fosters the invention of culture that both expresses and educates us, affirming care, love and co-creation.