The heart is like a wheel

I don’t cycle enough these days. I realised this as, two days ago, I was cycling north out of Witney on one of the back roads and chanced upon two or three dozen wild deer, all clustering around a disused feeding trough in the distant middle of a field. Two or three of them stared fixedly at me; the others kept on feeding, or probably drinking. It’s very many brief moments like that, strung together like little charms on a chain, that make cycling so attractive to me.

In fact, I’m beginning to think cycling is my easiest route into what everyone’s talking about these days: mindfulness; that relaxed, loosened-up living in the moment that’s meant to disentangle your thoughts. I’m no MTB fan, but even if you don’t like the journey, you can sense the joy-in-the-present that permeates this rider’s voice as he bounds down the track:

I’m no MTB fan, and my cycling is no MTB cycling. Yet when I’m involved in it, and putting some effort in, and coping with Oxfordshire’s many potholes, then I find myself drawn to the present on a frequent if irregular basis. And as the bumps and bends loosen me up, physically and mentally, I find I’m able to drift back and forth through that present: thinking about what I’ve been up to; plotting a line around that corner; planning what I need to do when I get back home; looking out for deer (or buzzards, or kites).

I wrote a fraction of a chapter, of my thesis, while riding the bicycle I had at the time. I wouldn’t say it was an amazing chapter, or an amazing thesis, but there it is: embedded into an entire thesis dedicated to control and stabilization, that one nugget, shaken out of me by my cycling.

This entry was posted in cotswolds, cycles, dphil, employment, entertainment, environment, experience, inspiration, intuition, location, made_our_own_fun, occupation, transport, understanding. Bookmark the permalink.

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