Saturday, September 28, 2013

"Distance" and Perspective

Table Mt. Blvd., Oroville, CA
I remember when riding my bike two miles to downtown Fairfield, Iowa, was a big deal.  After all, it included the steepest hill in town that required using my bike's lowest gears!

Now that I have been riding in Oroville, California, for several months while staying with my parents, the six-mile ride to town is just a normal thing. My gauge has adjusted, expanded.

Part of the "adjustment" is physical conditioning, but the other part is mental. For me, the physical conditioning was not a big change. What changed was with retirement more time to ride--even though I can't be gone for much more than three hours usually. The longer distances came naturally.

I've been reading journals of self-contained bicycle tours and came across the following statement: "Today was a short day, only 30 km." Thirty kilometers equals 18.6411 miles. This is now an unremarkable distance for me, too.

Pacific Heights Rd., Oroville, CA

The longest I have bicycled so far is 43 miles. This morning I rode for three hours before turning around because of time--28 miles--and I would have loved to have continued riding. I'm looking forward to when I have more time to ride longer distances when touring.

Many long-distance touring cyclists regularly travel 50-80 miles a day--no big deal.

There is a joy when the body is working well. There is a joy from moving under ones' own power. There is a connection with the environment while riding a bike.

That sense of unity is worth attaining, and it's worthy of celebration.

Copyright 2013 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved

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