Spring riding is some of the best of the year. Let’s face it, we’ve been cooped up indoors all winter for the most part with only a handful of rides outside when it isn’t snowing, blowing like a hurricane, or just entirely too cold to be outside for any length of time, particularly on a moving bicycle. Once daylight savings begins, the evenings are lighter longer. Those precious extra minutes of light can mean the difference between a ride or riding longer. Along with the birds, the wildlife, and the wildflowers, cyclists are also rejoicing for spring!
As I was out for my first mountain bike ride of the year the other day, I could hear the hawks soaring overhead. Once in awhile as I pedaled along, they would fly close enough that I could actually hear the flap of wings as they cut through the air. I heard meadowlarks whistle their greetings from fenceposts.
It’s not uncommon to see deer on North Table Mountain. Typically, I see them in clusters of 2-5 deer. But this time there must have been ten young deer grazing along the singletrack. Most of them just stood there and watched me pedal by. Typically, the deer will scatter when you approach, but I guess this young batch had not yet been spooked by a human before and saw no reason to flee from me as I went by.
A few wildflowers were blooming here and there. In fact, they were so small I wouldn’t have noticed them if I hadn’t stopped for a drink of water. Normally I wear a hydration pack of sorts while mountain biking, but on this day I had decided to forego it and loaded my jersey pockets with tools and filled a water bottle instead. I knew it would slow me down to drink, but seeing the tiny lavender and pink petals made the stop worthwhile.
This connection with nature that you can only experience while in its midst has got to be one of the simplest pleasures life has to offer. Experiencing it on a bike while your heart is pounding, your feet are pedaling, and your breath is audible magnifies the soothing nature of the experience. It’s almost like you experience it in slow motion, from a hawk’s perspective. The rhythm of your pedal strokes and breath colliding so perfectly with nature’s circle of life… it’s like they were made for each other! But don’t take my word for it. Go see for yourself!