Hello! What’s up, buttercups?!
It’s Friday. Or, should I say FriYAY. I prefer the latter.
I hope you’ve all had a great week and that it isn’t the arctic where you live. New Hampshire has seen some sunshine and 50+ degree days this week which I’m uber digging after an October which felt like November and a few weeks of clouds and rain. Pretty sure my seasonal funk that tends to rears its ugly head mid to late January was fast approaching, but this week has surely helped me put the spice back in life.
Earlier this week, I wrote about taking some lull time. I’m happy to report that while I’ve definitely rode my bikes more than would be typically considered “lull”, my brain space has stayed rather mellow and generally in a good place.
I couldn’t help myself with all the nice weather Wednesday and yesterday – saddle time was very welcomed. I figured they would be some of the final rides for the next 6 months not requiring either hand and/or toe warmers. Wednesday I was even able to wear shorts and let me tell you I was beyond ecstatic. Bizarre side note: for all my fellow lady friends out there who have given up on the whole leg shaving bandwagon…. biking feels really weird when your leg hair is flopping around in the wind. Like it tickles. I now understand why some male cyclists shave their legs and will most def hop back on that bandwagon in the Spring.
I was also happy to utilize my phone mount (seen on handlebar above) to play music whilst riding! If you’re interested in my “saddle time” playlist and seeing what type of jams I’m into I’ll link it here:
With all the recent free time, aka “lull time”, I’ve been thinking a lot about the activities which bring me joy. Biking is surely one of them along with hiking, trail running, snowboarding, climbing, snowshoeing. I’m purely focusing on physical activities here as this list doesn’t encompass other things in life which make me smile. The common denominator if you will with these activities is that when I’m partaking in them my mind doesn’t get stuck in the past or future. Sure, I may think about something that happened that week or day, or what I need to accomplish later – but the thoughts come and go, they don’t stick, they don’t fester, they don’t even stress me out in that moment. These activities all serve a common role in my life: self-care. I’m not going to delve into this “can of worms” in this post, but rather save it for a future post topic!
But, short story, biking is one of the best ways to get me out of my head, smiling, and feeling like the weight of the world isn’t as heavy. It helps me process. It’s something which I genuinely love and also equally enjoy the positive feels I experience during/afterwards. It’s such a lift up. And, what’s really neat which I’ll talk about more in aforementioned future post is that while biking/hiking/running/ect. all help with self-care, the way in which this occurs is different for each. It’s almost as if I have a tool-box of activities to pick from depending on what my needs are, what I feel like doing, and what my body needs.
My ride Wednesday, besides being in shorts, was on my road bike… aka the “roadie”, or Tessa. Yes, my bikes have names. I set out with the intention to ride until the sun began setting, so about 2 hours. I usually just wing it and go based on how my body feels. I’ve gotten into a rhythm of setting an idea of ride time versus ride distance so that my pace and therefore exertion can reflect what I need that day. This has taken some time and I still have days where I’m like “ugh, Sarah, you only rode 10 miles in the hour and you usually do 14+, what gives”. Progress is a process.
Today I took out my gravel bike, the second child. I’m still in the naming process on this one and am between Tatum, Claire, Carmen, and Charlotte. It’s a Trek Checkpoint, so I naturally want the name to begin with a T or a C. I rode along a local rail trail for most of the ride and got in my dose of forest therapy and leaf peepin’.
It’s fun, riding my bikes, but saddle time is so much more than fun for me. It’s an activity I enjoy that fulfills me. It doesn’t take away any of my feelings, it doesn’t numb them, it helps me work through them and it helps me feel a deeper connection with my being – and that’s the core of why I ride.
“I understood myself only after I destroyed myself. And only in the process of fixing myself, did I know who I really was.” ― Sade Andria Zabala