So I was trying to think of the things that make me happy or sad. There are lots of things that might bring a smile to my face when I ride, but does it truly make me happy? Probably not. I think happiness isn’t as shallow as that for me. I think happiness transcends pleasure or contentment. And sadness? For me, sadness is inextricably linked to loss. So I’m not sure what might make me happy or sad on a bog standard day ride. Nigel would just say I’m overthinking things! But wait til next week – I’ll be off for a 5-day ride on Monday, and multi-day rides (even piddly, short km rides) definitely include things that make me genuinely happy.
We just came out of lockdown (yet again) on Friday, so Sept, so far has seen me doing some long walks to the top of nearby hills instead of riding. I don’t have a lot of interesting places to ride in my 5km radius, and about a third of my 5km radius is unusable floodplain and private land with no roads anyway.
However, the following bike video does make me happy. I’m sure I’ve shared it before. And it’s a bit ear-wormy. Plus, it plays out a bit like the dream I had when I was 6: to ride my bike to California to meet Luke Skywalker (as Star Wars was a big thing in 1982 – that was between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi). As a tomboy, I was simultaneously in love with Luke Skywalker and wanted to be just like him (definitely not Princess Leia). So this video always makes me think of riding around as a little kid pretending I was riding to California.
Plus, for me, the best days on the bike now capture that same joy I felt when I was out riding as a kid. It’s that sense of freedom, escape, independence and adventure plus the sense of danger/fear when you push yourself to your very limits and extend what you’re capable of on the bike. That’s definitely what makes me happy!