As a result of a combination of factors; tense bosses, no jobs on the board and a bad economy, things at work have been a little rough lately so I decided I needed to get out on the bike today.
I’ve found that being outside and riding my bike is one of the best ways for me to deal with bad days. No matter how rough the day or how stressed I’m feeling, a bike ride can usually fix my mood and improve my attitude. (I think it’s a combination of the endorphins that are released with exercise as well as the feeling that I’m actually doing something and not sitting around being a slug)
As I click in to the pedals and make the first rotations, it’s almost a physical sensation as I feel the stress falling away. Not unlike dropping a heavy backpack after a full days hiking.
Today was no different except that I was riding with a friend of mine that hadn’t ridden in a while. He too was having a rough week and so we decided to meet out at Cull Canyon after work to bury ourselves in a session of “rotational therapy” (yep, another new phrase I made up – feel free to borrow it)
Cull Canyon is a great little 13 mile out and back with very little traffic. It’s a dead end so there’s no reason to go out there unless you live there. The first time I rode this about 4 years back, you’d be lucky to see a single car. This time though it felt like rush hour and we saw 5 cars...I know, crazy crowded.
The nice parts about this route are that, with daylight savings time in effect now you can do an out and back and still be done before dark, there’s a good chance you’ll see deer or pigs or some sort of wildlife and lastly, since there’s very little traffic you can ride 2 across and talk almost the entire way out and back.
Since my buddy hasn’t been riding much, we started out nice and easy getting in a groove with a moderate pace and just concentrating on making circles and letting the day fall away. It was really relaxing to just cruise and it felt like the further into the canyon we got, the more distance I put between me and the real world.
Eventually we got to the end and turned around for the trip back. One other little note about Cull Canyon is that it’s ever so slightly uphill on the way out and ever so slightly downhill on the way back. This being the case, the pace on the return flight was just a tad more aggressive as we headed back to the real world.
Normally when I’ve had a rough day, my session of rotational therapy consists of riding as hard as I can, trying to tear the legs off anyone near me and basically killing myself to the point that I’m too exhausted to be cranky. Today though, even our “fast” pace was not so fast that we couldn’t talk and ride at the same time.
As a result, during our ride, I’m pretty sure we solved all the problems of the world, the economy and the places we work. The result being that even without beating myslef into exhaustion, I wound up in a better place and with a better attitude. Oh yeah...and we saw a bunch of deer which was very cool...