I’d been off of the bike for a while. Many things conspired to cause this. I’d been injured. I’d had health problems. It got cold and snowy. I started walking to work instead of riding to avoid the problems with traffic I was having far too frequently. It ended up being a long time off the bike. Too long.
I’d just had the bike tuned up for a tour that never happened. Which was a good thing. Like any machine, if you leave a bike sitting for a long while, it gets wonky. Just like older cameras need their shutters exercised once in a while, bikes need to be taken out and ridden just to keep them functioning. Entropy gets everything. And besides, the purpose of a bicycle is not to sit in the living room unused. At least mine didn’t suffer the ignominious fate of stationary bikes after the urge to exercise subsides. It never became a clothes rack.
All in all, the hiatus was a mixed bag. True, I needed to sort out the issues I was dealing with, but it wasn’t the most fun I’ve had. I missed all the good stuff a long ride does for me. When I ride, it clears my mind, and my mind became almost unbearably cluttered. I was miserable without knowing why. It affected my photography as well. The two activities have grown intertwined, and one seems to impact the other now. My creativity became stagnant and so did my work.
As I’ve shaped up and started feeling better, I got back on the bike and started putting miles under my wheels again. Either I didn’t realize how much better I feel now, or I just feel better overall when on a bicycle. I don’t know. What I do know is that from the seat of a bicycle, he world is a much nicer place, and so is the inside of my head.
I still need to make adjustments to being back, of course. I’ve found that I’m riding a little faster than I used to, which is not a bad thing, but I think I’m going to have to carry more food as a result. I’m usually starving once I get past 20 miles or so and I’m eating everything in sight to try to offset it. And, of course getting past the saddle soreness is always a pain in the ass. Literally.
But still, I’ve missed being on the bike. I’ve missed going for miles for no other reason than just going for miles. I’ve missed seeing my home town from what I think is the best perspective: from a bicycle. I’ve missed being happier. I’ve missed shooting the sights.
Never get off the bike. As far as addictions go, shooting film and riding steel are the best.