Drawn in by the allure of speed and the wind over our athletic form, we get caught up in the act. The challenge, the vigor, upwelling from breathless pulls on long unforgiving hills, the trail and the road beckon that we go further. Together they pull us deeper and deeper within the act. Yet, sometimes it is better to simply stop... Stop - if only to observe, and see... Pull the bike over and set for a while... Maybe on the side of the trail or perhaps, beside the road. Allow the bike to become the vehicle, transporting the mind to its momentary vacation. Allow it to be fed by the world around it, A world unseen until you take time to stop and observe it.
Suddenly, when simply observed, the world becomes art. The crimson blaze of Fall leaves contrasts with the backdrop of a crisp blue river. They merge into a painting, the canvas for which is the mind's eye. The last few green fiddle head ferns, lingering into the cold season, become elegant spiral staircases that lead nowhere but to the imagination. Skeletal remains of Queen Ann's Lace become satellite dishes, receiving your wildest dreams. Seeds of maples flutter in the wind like butterflies.
Wild forest growth laughs at us through lips of lichen, and shelf mushrooms, finding our complex lives silly, perhaps comedic. Yes, stop and climb a tree. Gain a new perspective on life from a babbling brook. Overlook a waterfall and a really examine random branches of sumac. Listen to the whisper of the wind as it washes over the evergreens and sneaks between the wild grasses.
Sometimes the road less traveled is less worn and harder to find. But, sometimes the road more traveled will suffice, if it's seen in a new light. It is on those occasions that the familiar road can seem a benevolent stranger, lending us a hand to find our way... Pull over on the side of your favorite route, find a grassy field and lie in it and allow it to become your bed of thoughts...