Riding a bicycle on long stretches of open road could possibly be the most exhilarating feeling there is. It feels like waking up to your favorite song; it feels like drinking a cappuccino with an extra shot shot of espresso; it feels like the second time you kiss someone you really like; the time you know exactly how to tilt your head and how far you should go.

Riding a bicycle on an open road is freeing, energizing, and invigorating. Sometimes, there’s traffic, detours or obstructions in the road, but they’re just that, temporary setbacks. Riding a bicycle in the city can be filled with peril and takes courage. A student recently told me that she’s never ridden a bike and isn’t interested in learning, because it’s dangerous. This is what I said to her:

1) Can you let fear inhibit you from an experience that will surely be a memorable one?

2) Do you know the joy of coasting; of a breeze around you; of a warm kiss of air on your lips; of the wind beside you? (You should know that it feels like god.)

3) Do you realize that everything we do in life has an element of danger? Of course, some greater than others, but you leave your house everyday without knowing what will happen. Don’t let imagined things and possible threats make you a coward. Go fast, and if you fall, feel the hurt for a moment, then get back on your bike. There are times when you won’t need to move at all, just sit back and let the bicycle take you.

My friends, you know I didn’t say all those things to her; my student could barely speak English.  When she told me that she’d never ridden a bicycle, my response was, “You absolutely should. It’s fantastic!”

I think you already know, or should know if you don’t, that as much as I adore riding my bicycle, this note to you isn’t about cycling at all.

Love,

Val

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