The bike ride to work on the morning of Sept. 20 was a chilly one. At three degrees Celsius, that autumn-like air was refreshing to say the least.
For most of my teaching career, I’ve driven in a car to work, often carpooling with my colleagues. Taking the two-wheeled transport is an entirely different experience as you can imagine. Beyond the cardiovascular benefit of biking, there’s a certain serendipity to it, as well.
For example, this morning, as I started my journey, I decided to veer off the main road and take the asphalt-covered hiking trail that traverses the well-kept green space abutting rows of modern bungalows. This path eventually gives way to a street that runs adjacent to numerous high-end homes with backyards grooved to rest comfortably on the sedate shore of a man-made lake called Crystal Shores.
As I pedaled past these finely appointed abodes, with an Audi here and a Hummer there, I imagined for a moment the morning routine of the occupants. On this sun splashed morning, was the man of the house torn between casting a line to pierce the still water of the lake or dusting off the golf clubs to catch a quick eighteen holes before jetting off to a business meeting in some unknown city? Or maybe he or his spouse was preparing a morning meal while, at the same time, rousing the kids from their slumber so they could be well prepared for their e-teacher’s elive class at 9 a.m. Yes, I did have one scheduled for nine a.m.!
My brief reverie was cut short as I found myself taking a steep right turn and zooming towards an intersection that would rejoin me with the main road. To avoid the four-lane traffic here, I kept to the sidewalk and slowed my pace a little to allow ample running room for the occasional jogger I met along the way.
The journey of discovery begins not with new vistas but with having eyes with which to behold them. – Marcel Proust
If you’re an early morning jogger, walker or biker, maybe you sense as well the almost instantaneous kinship felt upon meeting another like-minded soul on your way. All it takes is a quick nod of the head or even a muted hello to affirm that affinity.
On the second last leg of my journey, I zipped by an elementary school, thankful I had left early enough to avoid the bevy of buses that would soon be arriving. Then, in a few short minutes I was cresting the top of a sharp incline that leads down to my destination. I always relish this part of the ride as my coasting speed down the hill can sometimes equal the speed limit of those four-wheeled conveyances.
Not wanting to cause too much consternation for those early morning commuters, I usually apply my brake before the road levels off and allow them to assume their rightful place ahead of me!
As I dismounted my bike in the parking lot behind our office, I inhaled one last whiff of the fresh air and thought to myself: ‘Thank you Lord for this wonderful day; I just want to rejoice and be glad in it.’