Author: Cheri Felix
Last week I went on and on about group rides. Group rides are a great way to meet bike minded people. I sincerely hope that some of you took me up on the idea. But this week I want to go in another direction. Solo riding.
I’ve always liked being alone. When I started mountain biking I had a whole crew of girls to ride with but often first comes love, then comes marriage and then comes a baby in the baby carriage. And so friends started to drop off and in some odd way it was a gift because I learned how to ride alone. And I love it.
There’s a trail that’s right outside my door. I’ve ridden that trail more times that I can count. I’ve ridden that trail happy and I’ve ridden that trail mad as a hatter. And believe me I can do crazy quite well thank you very much. And I’ve ridden that trail so sad I could barely see through the tears. I know that trail like the back of my kid’s heads. And I think I’ve ridden it solo more than I’ve ridden it beside a friend. And now I get to say hi to my mom when I ride it. She doesn’t always know when I’m coming but she’s always there when I get there.
Not all of us get to bury our loved ones. Some people who die choose cremation. And even though I sometimes long for a big stone and patch of grass for which to sit on so that I can tell the stone my worries and victories I have something else. A few years back I took most of what remained of my mom; some ashes, some bones and some dental implants and spread her on my favorite trail. So last night with the family fed and the husband at the sink doing the dishes, I left on my bike. To ride, to relax and to be quiet. For once. It’s the gift of riding solo; the quiet. I told my husband that I would probably bump up against the dark as it was already 7:30 when the tires rolled. He nodded as if to say “Yep that sounds about right.”
Riding solo is a gift to you and it may not come easy at first. You may wish someone was there to confirm you are heading in the right direction. To tell you how well you ride and how strong you are. But like in life we don’t always need those people do we. Sometimes it’s enough to just go out and ride. All by ourselves.
Try it. A few times. Start small or start big. You choose. Maybe choose a summer’s evening when the air has cooled and ride till the sun goes down and then go home. Alone.