What I talk about, when I talk about riding my bike

My best friend has two wheels. Instead of lying, charging, next to my bed it is hanging majestically and colourful on a hook in the other end of my room. I do also have a smartphone; a Samsung Galaxy something smart. Black with a slightly incised screen which emits an annoying amount of light if you look at in the dark.
Every morning the three of us go to work together — together with the bike, I’m responsible for getting us there, some mornings fast, others slow. My phone is in my backpack.
Together we pass car drivers caught in the morning traffic jams, who scrolls annoyed through the news feed of the day on their smart phones with a half-eaten piece of bread in the other hand — often trying to squeeze in on the other side of the traffic lights if they can. Imagine what would happen if they didn’t make it in time…

In a fast developing world, the need for a free space is of crucial importance for me — and I think for most people. Constantly aware of our social networking and jobs through the internet, we are the generation who is the less bored of all time. Think about it. When is the last time you remembered staring out the window not knowing what to do for a longer time?
Some find boredom a negative thing, something ineffective. But let’s consider: Vacation and free space is ineffective as well. Or?
I find a close connection between boredom and free space. I can’t say I love boredom but it gives me time to reflect and relax. And it gives me a free space.

I find my free space on my bike. Whether it is commuting to work, training towards the coming season or racing national championships, I love the way I can use my intuition and creative senses: Making an attack on the last descent, social networking on long winter rides or simply just looking for potholes in the tarmac to train my bunny-hop skills.
To ride more for me does not necessarily mean that I have increase the amount of hours on the bike, but I find it inspiring the ‘more’ I get from riding. The nourishing feeling of arriving at work after the ride, the happiness of spending time together with friends or the relief of finishing a bike race in a good position.
Even though I feel the most ‘effective’ while being at work, the best ideas always pop up when I’m on the bike — and I find it a little ironic to the ‘effectiveness culture’ of today that these ideas always vanish the very same moment I open my computer or smart phone to find unanswered mails, chats and notifications.

Which brings me back to my morning commutes: I’m not saying that the biking give me philosophical skills on the level of Platon or Sokrates, but it gives me a small time of boredom where I don’t have the opportunity to check my Messenger-chats or mailbox. On the bike I can immerse into the day that has passed or the day that wait tomorrow. Or maybe simply into the fact that the leaves on the trees soon will return with warmer weather.

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Thomas Steinthal

Interested in human behavior, politics and life. "A man who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read"