I'm going to start with someone else's story: Augie of Southern Tier Bike Club. Augie lives in the hills of the Town of Vestal. He moved there in the mid 70's, and at thought that the sheer elevation would be the end of his regular riding. For folks familiar with Vestal, he lives up Murray Hill Road, then up Campus Drive. I biked it earlier this week to enjoy the pleasant weather and get some exercise, and can attest that it would be challenging to end every commute with the elevation.
Augie speaks of a moment of epiphany: He was riding up the hill, cranking away in a low gear, and suddenly realized his reasons for riding: it was not simply for getting from point A to B. It was for the intrinsic joy of riding. Since that point, he's made the long trip up the hill thousands of times over the years. I agree with him that one really needs to focus and appreciate the intrinsic value of riding!
Earlier this week I realized that the commute had become a bit of a slog- same route every time, on a beefy bike. I varied my route and took a smaller lighter bike. I plowed up some hills, and then cruised down the ensuing downhills with a grin I just couldn't get off of my face. I arrived home with a fantastic emotional and exercise high. Despite the fact that I'm not perfectly dressed for a longer ride today, I'm planning on going for a nice long ride after work: Up the hills of Vestal and into the Town of Binghamton, possibly stopping at a friend's house on the way home. I love the fact that riding opens up possibilities of running into people you may not have seen in a long time. I love the feeling of dodging potholes and feeling really connected to your body and surroundings.
What do you love about riding bikes?