Cycling is a way of being.
You've got to think about how you feel when you ride. What is it that makes us eager to ride everday? What better way to find yourself within the world than on a bike? Through your bodily senses, your skin against the air. You know you're working because your muscles sometimes ache and when you get home, off the bike, you've got this thirst, an unquenchable one and an appetite that never seems to go away.
Your hearing perceptions widen and meander from a car coming by you, to your breathing, to a creak of your crack, to someone's car stereo in the distance, to the hum of your tyres on tarmac, to the wind against your ears, to the silence when you're trapping along alone. Like a humming meditative vibration that calms your being as you're talking to yourself in your head. But it's an individual experience, that can also be shared with other people on bikes, your friends, sometimes friends that only exist within this context but it takes nothing away from your relationship, it can cement its value quicker.
You listen and it's an heightened experience. You watch, you see more and the things around you are moving quicker; you become more responsive. You need not think about your senses, how they work when you get on the bike, they just open up. Your being is immersed within a natural environment.
This practice of dérive makes you become a explorer, a roamer, a flâneur. You're now playing around within the landscape, you exist somewhere between an explorer and a player. A Yomper!
Long may it continue, most days for the rest of your life.
Words and photo by Thom Barnett