I love, love, love biking! For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a bicycle rider. I enjoy it immensely. As a young child, it didn’t take long to graduate from riding a bike with training wheels to riding one without them. I’ve had a bike my whole life. When I became a mom, taking the kids biking was always a favorite family event. I can recall vividly strapping my youngest into her seat on the back of my bike. Oh, what fun! We biked for miles and miles, through neighboring communities and scenic parks. We would stop along our paths of travel, dismount, and enjoy a delicious frozen slurpy or sweet treat at a nearby 7-Eleven or roadside snowball stand. Even now as an empty nester, the hubby and I still make time to go biking; packing our backpacks with a picnic lunch and mounting our bikes on the back of our vehicle to explore faraway scenic bike trails. Biking 10, 15, and 20+ miles was no big deal for us.
More recently, starting about a year ago, I began to notice that I was struggling. I couldn’t bike long distances anymore. I couldn’t keep up with other bikers either and would get winded fairly quickly. Even going just a few miles gave me trouble. My first inclination was to assume it was me; that I was starting to have health issues. I remember thinking, what the heck?! What’s going on with my stamina? I’ve had the same bike for years, have had no problems with it before, so it couldn’t be the bike, right?! I was both sad and frustrated. So off to the doctor’s I went for a check-up. Boy was I nervous and expecting the worst. Luckily, there was nothing found that would prevent me from being able to ride my bike like I used to. In fact, the doctor encouraged that I continue to try to do so.
So here is how it then went down. I was determined to figure this out. Was the bike roadworthy or not? Was it causing me to exert more energy than usual? If it’s not the bike, would a battery-powered e-bike, which can cost several hundreds to thousands of dollars, be the solution to helping me improve my ability to pedal up hills, fight the wind, and bike long distances? Well finally, I discovered what it was – it indeed was the bike. It badly needed a tune-up, said the bike repair guy. The headset was very loose and needed bearings, and the tires were low too. Problem solved, and bike fixed! It now rides effortlessly.
I’m now once again having so much fun. I’m back to doing what I love – biking! Not only that, I started a women’s biking club. I’m using the term “club” loosely; it’s not a formal association or organization, rather, it’s just a growing number of women in my community who remember how fun it is to ride a bike, on a warm sunny day, with no cares or worries in the world. I go biking every so often, and with each outing, another woman or two joins in. What really sticks out is how happy they look and how much they look forward to the next time. These gals are clearly elated to be on their bikes again. I think for all of us, it brings back happy childhood memories. To see their smiles as we leisurely bike throughout the neighborhood, does my heart good. Oh, what fun we are having!
So, what do you LOVE to do? Not “like”, but LOVE. Whatever it is, I hope you make time to do it. There is no better inspiration than doing what you love to do, whether it’s baking or gardening, singing or traveling — make time to do it now. It’ll ease your stress, lift your mood, drive and motivate you, and add joyful years to your life.