It is winter in my part of the world. You may be in a region where it is summer. In that case, you are lucky. However, there are times that nothing beats a cool breeze in your face.
Like when I go to sleep. When it is cold outside, I love to wrap myself up where I will be nice and warm. I also must have cool air on my face. If it gets too stuffy, I freak out. Kind of an OCD thing I believe. Just one of those mental things that I severely dislike. I am taken back to when I was growing up. We would literally turn off the heat in the house at bedtime. My dad would then throw on the heater when he got up to go to work. I believe most mornings were in the low 50’s inside the house. Even with that arctic-like temperature, I still had my ceiling fan on full blast. I did this for two reasons. First of all, I must have sound. The inside of a house is much more quiet than anything we would experience outside. Therefore our ears, at least mine, freak out when it gets too quiet. I like some kind of noise going on. The ticking of an old-style wind up clock (yes, I own two of these) or the hum a fan is nice to have. I used to play classical music at night, but often I would find myself laying awake trying to make out or create a tuba part for the piece. I was a eccentric kid. Secondly, I really enjoy the cool air on my face. There is something about laying in a toasty warm bed and having your face breathe that nice and cold air. It is like you are perfectly warm, but since you are breathing the cold air, you are not overheating. It is a balance.
I am weird, I have come to terms with this. I also know that I am not the only one. A coworker even stated that he does a similar thing (except his normally involves open windows). We each have our quirks, though some are more extreme than others. For instance, I cannot stand it when someone is doing one thing, which deserves 100% attention, and tries to multitask. It is like driving and texting or talking on the cell phone. I want to reach out and smack you over the head. I really prefer to drive when I am driving. Driving a 3,000+ pound car is lethal. People should respect it more.
Speaking of cars, cars get stuffy. I suppose that while I would freeze my rear end off during winter while riding my motorcycle, I enjoyed the ride so much I did not mind freezing temps. In a car, I find myself getting twitchy. I dislike not being out in the weather. I do not like being surrounded by a cage. I do not like being in a stuffy car. I like feeling the cool air on me, even if I have to layer to enjoy it. I know what you are thinking, “open the windows”. I guess I could do that, but it just is not the same. I am still in a cage and, well, it just is not the same! I suppose that is why I love being on two wheels so much. I really miss my motorcycle, and I find myself looking at them on occasion, wishing I had one in my garage again. I decided to sell it though. The money from the sale went to the purchase of my incredibly awesome Gary Fisher HiFi. I still think it was a good decision on my part. However, the cold air reminds me to enjoy the simple things in life.
So yes, I enjoyed motorcycling because I love being in the elements, I love being outside. The same goes for my bicycle. I still have that competition mindset when I get on my road bicycle. Really thinking about it, it has been a long while since I have went on a ride to enjoy the ride. Normally I have a destination or a goal in mind before I set out. My last ride, I set a goal of 20-miles. Not much, but after just over 2 months off of the bike, it was a logical distance. I have lost a lot of stamina in that small amount of time. I was hurting after those 20-miles. Still, I felt alive. Yet, when was the last time I hopped on the bike just to ride around for no reason? When was the last time I got on the bike just to have a bit of fun, not to get a workout, stay in one heart-rate zone, or running an errand? I cannot remember.
I think that is the whole thing about cycling that people forget how great it is. Do you recall when you were a kid and the freedom you felt when you finally were competent on the bicycle? That bicycle took your everywhere. You would ride down the street to a friends house, to the neighborhood pool, maybe even to the convenience store near by. It was the ultimate level of freedom. It was so perfect for a kid since it required so little maintenance and is quite cheap to obtain. The more you were on the bike, the more shortcuts you would find to save time. Going out of your way a mile in a car is no big deal, on a bicycle it is a HUGE deal. You learn all the paths, shortcuts, hills, bumps, everything around you. I knew the shortest route to the grocery store was via a path along the drainage ditch behind my neighborhood. I doubt any adult ever thought along those lines as long as they had been in the neighborhood.
My point, regardless of my being all over the place in this post, is to live like a kid (how on earth it evolved from enjoying the cool air to living like a kid…well, your guess is as good as mine). Enjoy the small things in life. We tend to make things overly complicated as we get older. We get wrapped up in how people see us. We feel the need to have “nice” things, or fancy brand names, instead of just something that works. All of this waste, for what? To impress people? You will not impress me by spending top dollar on something that could be had for a fraction of the price. All these things lose their simplicity with an aged mind. We over analyze everything far too much. Look at the movie industry. They add a small, yet funny, innuendo that only an adult would notice, and adults go nuts. They forget that kids are more innocent and would never pick up on it. Adults make everything more complicated. I am sure if we all acted more like kids, and lived with better morals, the world would be a better place. Kids do not care about race, color, rich or poor, or anything else. They learn that from us. If we all dropped that junk and lived like kids do, things would be overlooked, people would be happier.
Go out for a walk or ride, enjoy the breeze on your face, and remember how great it is to see the world through a child’s eyes. Do not judge others based on what they own. Do not look down on someone just because they were not as blessed as you were. I honestly feel bad for the people who line up in a huge line of cars just to pick up their child from the elementary school. If you live in a surrounding neighborhood and just took a bicycle, you could be there, get your child and be back home before you even got near the school in a car. It just makes zero sense. Also, it gives you and your child time together. I saw a dad not all that long ago riding his bike with his daughter riding hers. He was carrying her little Hello Kitty backpack for her. They were smiling and talking on the ride home. That is something I look forward to.
Ride on my friends and enjoy that cool air on your face, just as you did when you were a kid.