May 2018 05

 

Only On A Bicycle.

Ever notice things on a bike ride that you otherwise wouldn’t? I remember our parish priest preaching about “awareness” one Sunday at Mass many years ago. He ask the question: have you ever arrived at a location, and immediately thought, I don’t remember the ride. Scary to think about sometimes. Especially if you just drove there. Yet it happens daily.

We submit to processes, routines, and the destination that too often we don’t pay attention to the journey. Fortunately, it’s not as easy to lose awareness on a bicycle ride. Sure, everyone finds themselves lost in a zone from time to time on a ride. That’s the medicinal benefits of riding. When you travel to work, school, the store, or anywhere that’s routine, you don’t pay much attention because you’re so familiar with the route.  However, when you travel anywhere via bicycle, you are forced to use multiple body senses, and the result is awareness. 

 

Which Way Do You Look?

Can you identify more details of landscape, or architecture features on a bicycle or in an automobile? I’d be willing to be it’s not even close. I notice something nearly every time I ride my bicycle that I wouldn’t see or hear or smell or taste if I was driving or riding in a car. And I realize it when it happens. It’s as if I notice something spectacular, then immediately give thanks that I was on a bike to be blessed to bear witness to it.

Ever ride a familiar route in the opposite direction you usually ride it? Try it sometime. I’ll bet you see things you haven’t noticed before. I have realized that I notice the landscape to my left a lot more than the scenes on my right when I’m cycling. Sometimes I go the opposite direction for better flow. Other times, I opt for more of a challenge. Simply a different view, is another reason or changing it up. Sounds crazy, I know, but it’s absolutely true.

 

Sightings From My Saddle

Recently, I rode a familiar route with my friend Nathan Rome. As we were closing in on our final descent back into the Frankfort river valley, from a ridge road behind Buffalo Trace Distillery, I pointed out the new warehouses built and being built off in the distance. Then I couldn’t help but notice the numerous trees along the road side that were decorated with glass bottles. It went on for at least a mile. Not huge trees, but just all different shapes, sizes and colors of bottles stuck onto the branches of tree after tree.

Another familiar scenic route I rode recently was a forty-something mile loop around my wife’s hometown area of Loretto, KY. I’ve ridden the area numerous times, and for some crazy reason, I tend to always go in the direction of the infamous Pottershop Rd. If you’re not familiar with it, you don’t want to be, I promise. It boasts some beautiful views out over rolling hills and knobs, but it’s an unforgiving climb to get the views. You’ll push your pedals with all your power to rise up the initial quarter to half mile at a gradient near 25-30%. Enjoy a steep, fast descent, then hit the replay button two more times, and expect your legs to be mad before you finish your ride to anywhere! On to my sighting…I have always had company on this loop before, so I guess I just never payed as much attention to the scenery like I did this particular ride. This area has an unbelievable amount of crosses along the roads. I didn’t keep count, but I’m not sure I can count that high anyway. I counted 5 crosses at one location, and numerous other sites with multiple crosses.

My final example I want to share of a moment noticed on my bike that I know I wouldn’t have in a car, also came on the recent ride with Nathan. As we left the valley of Peaks Mill, headed back toward Frankfort, he gave mention to never before seeing a narrow tributary flowing under Sullivan Lane in a sharp curve. He first heard the water rushing over the rock ledges in the bed of the small runoff, headed into the Elkhorn Creek. A perfect example of using multiple senses and being much more aware of surroundings on a bicycle than possible in a motor vehicle.

 

 

Share Your Moments As Seen On Bike

Please tell us about your sightings by joining in the conversation on social media. We will post this blog link to our Twitter. Anyone interested, please reply and start or continue a thread by posting your memorable moments…only witnessed from the saddle of your bicycle. We look forward to hearing them all.