On Remembering My First Ride: Pedaling into My New Year

The balance of giving and taking, of creating and pursing both a career AND a passion, has always been of interest to me. Loving what I do and doing what I love aren’t always one in the same, and that’s OK! How fortuitous serendipitous… no, SPECIAL it is that I might be joining the board of Bike Walk Tennessee this year. Hopefully I will be able to marry my creativity, my writing and marketing skills to my passion for PEDALING. How do we get young people to bike? Maybe that’s not even the question—they already are biking. But how do we create and connect to the larger state- and nationwide networks that really serves as a RESOURCE for cyclists of all shapes and sizes to learn about safety, education, advocacy, news, funny stuff…

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Black Bianchis outside Mojo

There is not a doubt in my mind that I couldn’t have arrived at this opportunity or this occasion without pursuing my path of becoming more self-aware. Just like yoga teacher training, it will take discipline, commitment and WORK. It won’t always be easy or the most fun thing to do (I have written these words hundreds of times!), but I KNOW it will become some of the more fulfilling, gratifying work I pursue. I just KNOW that.

Cycling was one of the first clear indicators of the changes and life work I now pursue. It indicated where a lot of my passions lie: in promoting individualism that serves as transportation, recreation, community, a way of sustainable living with minimal impact. Biking is merely an efficient, effective tool that can be used to do so much—and together, LOTS of people pedaling can do even more.

I’m so grateful for my brother, Andy, who finally convinced me when I was in college to order my first bike as an adult—a Jamis Coda. I’ll never forget the first ride I took her on. Ellie, the Coda.

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My brother, my inspiration for pedaling! Also a great mechanic.

It was a cold winter day in Knoxville. I bundled up and struggled as I carried the bike down the stairs of mine and my sister’s apartment. But once I made it down, I got on my bike and flew down the hill we lived on. (I would imagine experiencing more horror than pleasure that day.) I rode the the greenway, pedaling, breathing hard, feeling somewhat out of shape and like I had too many layers on. But what I felt most of all? Feeling free.

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Rain, cold, sunshine? FREEDOM

It took countless more rides, more miles, and even bikes to become a true passion of mine and a life force for me. While I can’t imagine my life without cycling, I know that feeling of freedom I first experienced years ago will never go away. I can only hope to bring that same inspiration and vibrance to this organization and these people.

Ride on.

 

 

 

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