WHY I RIDE A BIKE
by Heather Sellers
Every single time I get on my bike, I feel two things: younger, wiser. Cycling is childhood perfected.
For a long, long time, I forgot about bikes.
I was married to a runner and I was a runner. When we got divorced, I needed a new context for myself. New people to be around, new friends, some version of running that was my own. I needed something to do that cleared my mind and strengthened me. Something to reset the counter to zero. I wasn’t sure who I was, but I suspected the bike would take me to her.
I bought a Bianchi because it was the most beautiful, perfect thing I had seen in a long, long time. Like most adults, I had forgotten all about bikes. Their perfection as machines: nothing missing, nothing extra. Like a poem.
At first, the Bianchi was like a lover, a rebound relationship, a summer romance. I didn’t want to date for a long time after my divorce. I just wanted to ride my bike. On the bike, I am my most essential self. I’m happiest. The bike tunes me to myself.
I teach writing and creativity at the college level, and this is what I tell my students: you don’t need this class. You already know everything you need to know. Remember when you danced? Drew? Sang? Played all manner of musical instruments? You have been an artist all along. Why did you stop? When did you stop?
Same thing for the bike.
We’re all cyclists. Those of us fortunate to have had bikes as kids know exactly what it is that makes riding the bike as important, vital, and sustaining as prayer. Riding is heavenly.
Why did we stop?