Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cycling makes the world go 'round...

I recently traveled to Ft. Worth, Texas to interview for a teaching position at Texas Christian University. Part of that visit allowed for the opportunity to attend undergrad classes, where I came upon a student who captured the vision and lifestyle of the recreational cyclist.

Megan Murphy crafted a paper entitled "Don't Judge a Man Until You've Ridden a Mile in His Cleats: Understanding the World of the Adult Cyclist."

Megan's dad pilots an Orbea, a bike I can only dream about while earning an advanced degree. Some would say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case I would suggest Megan's words have crafted the pictures, images from the mind of cyclists who embrace the freedom it offers. Check out the following quote that she captured from a local rider:

While riding you going fast enough to enjoy the changing scenery but slow enough take in all the detail that you would otherwise miss like smelling the BBQ grill in the backyard cooking steaks, wave to an elderly woman watering her lawn, smile at the folks who are talking a walk and of course scream at the dog that is trying to bite your ankles. All of your senses are in heightened mode while biking, hearing sounds of the neighborhood or city, feeling the wind rushing across your face, seeing the beautiful countryside in all of its seasons. tasting the occasionally bug that fly in your mouth (yes that does happen, one time a grasshopper flew into my mouth-nasty!) and smelling the wonderful aroma of the blooming flowers in the spring, or the wood-burning fireplaces in the fall. It is a full and complete experience that is different each time. You can't get any of this in the gym, you have to be outside, and if you are outside you might as well be on a bike.” Rodney Ellis

Can't you imagine being on that ride, sharing in the sites, sounds and fragrances that pique your senses? Can't every cyclist tell this story, as part of his or her own personal experience while spinning the crank?

I believe Megan has motivated me to write. There's more to tell about the Six Gap experience, club tours and days leisurely riding commuter bikes on Hawthorne Trail.

Life is good and bicycles make it even better. And on this day, Megan Murphy brought the enjoyment of cycling front and center.

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