Having finally finished my errands in early evening, I drove a couple miles to a local trailhead in order to squeeze in a mountain bike ride before the sun set. Upon arrival, I unloaded my gear…bicycle, helmet, gloves, pack with water and toolkit, shoes, riding clothes…
Ordinarily I don’t care much about what I wear when I ride. My usual gear is a hockey practice jersey and whatever shorts are clean that day. But I had arrived at the trailhead in jeans and a collared shirt, and there wasn’t time to drive home and back and still get a ride in before dark.
So I stripped off the shirt and belt, rolled up my pant legs, saddled up, and started pedaling. And you know what?
Riding in jeans is a bit sweaty, but after perhaps ten minutes that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I am on a trail in the mountains, riding my bicycle. I hear the birds call and the insects drone and the rushing of the creek, I see the lupines and the mule’s ears and the phlox and the hundreds of other flowers I don’t even know the names of, and I stop to watch the sun set over the lake. Then I begin my descent, flowing like water over the rocks and through the trees, quietly rolling downhill into the shadows of another cool, crisp summer evening…
…and though my jeans and I both need a wash, I’m far happier than the version of me who grumbled in disgust and headed home to surf the Internet or read a book about other people doing things.
Live in freedom, live in beauty.