Today was the perfect autumn day. The weather was crisp, not too hot and not too cold. The streets of NYC were filled with light jackets and pumpkin spiced lattes. The city was truly bustling, as it should be on a day like today.
I vowed to spend my day on the bike. There was no reason not too. I typically think of excuses such as, “well I will be pouring sweat by the time I get there, so I ll just take the subway” or ” maybe my bike will get stolen, so I’ll just ride next time”. Today, I put those excuses to the side and took off from my Upper East Side neighborhood to start my day. I had a variety of things on my agenda, each located in various parts of the city.
First, I went to church in Alphabet City. I made the trek within 45 minutes and, to my surprise, I was not dripping sweat like a leaky faucet. I was church worthy for sure. From there I rode to Union Square to pick up a book from The Strand, however, I could not find what I was looking for so I made my way to another book shop located in Time Square. To my surprise, that shop had closed……. like for good. I made my way back down to The Strand and settled on two books there. After that adventure, I met up with a friend in NOLITA to grab a cup of coffee. Finally, I made my way up to the gym in Murray Hill. I had spent my entire day on the bike, spanning the city, and completing tasks……. like a boss.
So what does this have to do with well-being………. well, a lot. Often times, we feel depressed or anxious because there is a sense of losing control. We feel as if everything is crumbling around us and there is nothing we can do to stop it. We sometimes feel like a puppet on a string, attached to a blender.
Spending my day on the bike instilled a sense of control into me. I chose where I was going, who I was seeing, and when I got there. On top of that I accomplished all of my tasks and felt accomplished, like the day was worthwhile. There were no train delays, there were no accidents, there was no getting off at the wrong stop, there was no “that will take too long so I am just not going to go”. With my bike beneath me, I controlled the day. There was no part of the city “off limits”. Along with this sense of control, there was a sense of freedom. It was relieving in a way…. as if I was no longer constrained by the subways or the sidewalks.
This is a feeling anyone can embrace, by simply hopping on a bike. It can be a way to regain control and freedom. It can be rewarding and increase one’s sense of self. I hope to encourage riding as a form of transportation and therapy, all in one. As I mentioned above, the benefits are plentiful. So hop on and take off.
HEALTHY BIKE HEALTHY BRAIN