The weather report on the cell phone reads a 60% chance of rain, today. Looking out the front door, the Grand Mesa is socked in, there are ominous-looking clouds everywhere, its rather dark out, and the pavement is wet. So excited to ride a new-to-me commuter bicycle, I chance it anyway. I coast down to the new round-about, merge in with the cars, and spin off towards the River Front Trail.
The air is fresh, cool, and mesmerizing. The River Front is green enough to pretend momentarily that I am in Portland, or somewhere GREEN. Threatening clouds spit intermittently. Further up the trail, four women are glassing something above with their binoculars. I stop and inquire. They point to a nest of baby owls! They point out mama owl, too, and we chat briefly. I thank them for sharing, continue the ride, and then what seems like only moments later, arrive at my office. Who cares about the dressed-down look of commuter clothes and helmet hair! I’ve spent the last 45 minutes in peace, looking at GREEN, charmed by owls. Invigorated, I am ready to greet the day.
Bike commuting isn’t for everyone. I bike commuted years ago, but at this point in my life, I had been discounting it, for what seemed like valid reasons – 10 miles one way into work is too far, I need to look professional at my job, what about the weather, what if I have mechanical difficulties, and what if, what if, what if. But something clicked with me recently, when I was trying to coordinate coffee with a friend. When she said she wouldn’t be able to meet me on a particular day because she was bike commuting, I was won over and promptly tossed the what-ifs out the window.
If you regularly read this blog, you know that I am almost always promoting the benefits of nature therapy. Bike commuting not only offers those benefits, but many others, as well. Some are tangible: saves money, provides physical fitness, easy on the environment, easy to find parking, etc. Others are less tangible, but I noticed them my first day of commuting. After parking my bike and then sitting in my office, I not only felt a sense of empowerment, but I felt a distinct sense joy – the perfect way to start the work day.
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What fun, to see the owls on your first day of commuting! Now you will be watching for them. I have been watching a nest of baby eagles this year, on video-cam. Really great to touch in on every day. AJ
I am inspired to cycle as a commuter. I agree that I feel empowered and joyful, but I also feel invigorated and proud of my effort! TD