One of the things I have gained from immersing myself in Critical Mass is the friendships that I developed through riding my bike.
When you ‘mass’ together, you become intimate. Your circle of comfort is reduced to riding shoulder to shoulder next to a stranger. Your breathing become in tune with your neighbor. You both experience the same pot holes, the same angry car driver raising their fist in frustration. You both laugh at the ease of moving through crowded streets.
This is what I love about cycling with others. And when I am off my bike. I look at my new riding neighbor and I get to know them even better. If lucky, those new people become more than a fleeting pass around the corner. They become friends.
Riding my bike has made me keenly aware of the universe around me. The fragility and the beauty of being in the moment.
Consider that the physical universe around us. That celestial body of planets and stars have in some way, the same sort of association with each other. They exist as is. The same way human beings exist. As is.
I associate riding my bike as the same as meditating.
Early on in my meditation practice, I had a hard time sitting still. Quieting the mind so the only thing that was present was my breathing. My mind raced. Anger. Frustration. Sadness. The thing that I was trying to achieve was stillness of being in the moment. For calm to enter into the room and make it’s presence known to me. Sitting meditation, even now, still alludes me.
When I am riding my bike, I started noticing a particular thing. The practice of meditation and riding my bike achieve the same results. Then it clicked. Riding my bike had the same effect as sitting meditation. Except when I am riding, I am keenly aware of my surroundings. The traffic around me. The people next to me. All the frustration. Anger. Sadness. Those emotions get left behind because what I am focusing on is the pure essence of being in the moment. However, riding bikes up hills has the same annoyance as sitting meditation. 😀
And that brings me back to friendships. They are as is. Being in the moment of time and space. Where I get to exchange and connect with others. And in this crazy, upside chaotic world where it seems everyone is out for themselves, isn’t it better to not give into to the destructive nebulous that consumes and sucks all energy into nothingness, and rather find yourself with like minded, people who nurture and grow?
Isn’t that what being alive is about? To take a deep breath at the next stop sign, smile and nod to your neighbor and acknowledge their life, whether you know them or not, makes a positive impact to your life?
So here is to the new friendships that I have formed through riding. The community of like minded, free thinking individuals who come from every walk of life, background and quirkiness. I’m happy to call them my friends.
See you out there, my friend. Happy riding!