Posts Tagged ‘Pedaling’


October 14th, 2022
Serenity: A non-fiction story about the sense of serenity I experience from bike riding.


I’ve always enjoyed riding bikes. Though, not until I reached my mid 20’s, purchased a flat bar mountain bike and moved to the city did I become an avid cyclist, did I really look forward to each time I went riding. Much of my life I didn’t have a vehicle. Without a vehicle, I rode almost every day. The more I rode, the more I enjoyed riding.

I rode to the supermarket every couple days. When I finished shopping, I hung some food items from the handle bars, other items I carried in a small duffle bag.

I usually tried to purchase as much food as I could carry. The ride home was very challenging. The more food I purchased, the more challenging the ride, especially if I purchased heavier items like milk or canned foods. Yet, the ride was always a thrill. At the time, I liked challenging myself. I liked the challenge of maneuvering over curbs and through sidewalks while trying to balance a bike overflowing with food items.

I rode to and from work five days a week, about two miles each way. To get to work I had to ride over a couple somewhat steep overpasses.

They were my favorite part of the ride. I began amping myself up to go over the first overpass fifty yards in advance, gradually picking up speed as I approached, waiting until just the right time before pedaling with all my strength, as fast as I could peddle up the overpass.

If my timing was good, my strength and speed peaked just as the overpass peaked. Then, I coasted down the other side.

The second overpass was another fifty yards away, however, required more maneuvering, more power. I didn’t have as much room to pick up speed.

When I arrived at work, I felt great. The adrenalin gained from the ride stayed with me throughout the whole day.

Many locals were also into riding. Some local cyclist hosted monthly group rides. The group rides took riders who attended through different parts of the city. Sometimes those who hosted the rides explained the historical significance of the area we rode through during or before the ride.

When I first arrived in the city. The group rides were somewhat small, maybe thirty or forty people attended each ride. The rides were somewhat slow paced. Pulling up next to another to chat for a few while riding, gave those who were new to the city, a good way to get to know others within the city.

As riding became more popular, some of the group rides grew from thirty to forty riders to many thousands. The larger group rides became known as Critical Mass bike rides, bike rides designed to help others become aware of the environment and benefits of biking.

During Critical Mass rides, many of the streets within the bike route are closed. Large gatherings are held before and after the rides. Participating in monthly Critical Mass bike rides are exciting events.

The city where I moved to was very urban. I’m very urban. The scenery was magnificent. Many times I rode just to view the scenery. Riding through and around downtown was one of my favorite places to ride.

The buildings, homes, condo’s and apartments throughout the downtown area possess a lot of character. A few of the buildings were very old, vintage looking. Others were new, with a modern look.

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. I’ve always enjoyed looking at Christmas lights. Cities and towns usually have many small neighborhoods with light traffic, neighborhoods where many residents decorate their homes with magnificent displays of Christmas lights.

The scenery while riding always feels surreal, like I’m getting a better view, a view where I see the scenery from different angles, see more of the scenery for a longer period of time.

Slowing while riding over a sidewalk or through a street with slow moving traffic to take a longer look at something wonderful, wonderful scenery, skyscrapers, vintage buildings, unique looking apartment complexes, cool homes, Christmas lights, the bay, the Ocean, beaches, fields, creaks, rivers, or anything else a person enjoys viewing is much easier to do while riding than while driving.

Even without the magnificent scenery, I enjoy riding just as much. I enjoy everything about riding, standing on the pedals, sitting, coasting down hills, pedaling as fast as I could possibly pedal up hills, riding over a flat, only pedaling once in a while.

Riding gives me a sense of serenity, serenity unmatched by just about anything else I’ve ever experienced. If my body permitted, I could ride the same streets day after day, every day, all day and enjoy riding just as much as ever.


Serenity, Written By George Farina: