Thursday, March 22, 2018

I'm bicycling. I feel happy. I feel healthy.

I'm back in Pennsylvania again. On my way east from California I stopped drinking again. Alcohol has been doing much more harm than good, so as a person who is even aware of the concept of logic and critical thinking, it was an obvious decision. That does not mean that it was easy to implement the change - it never is. Alcohol is a serious mind-altering poison, which works absolute wonders for ignoring a myriad of life's difficulties. It is a miracle bandage. It's a shame that it also destroys your mind and body if you overuse it. For me, the negatives began to far outweigh the positives, but I continued to drink an absolutely unhealthy and unsustainable amount every day. It happens. Logical conclusions do not make a change for you - they are simply bits of information, and it is up to the flawed human to do the heavy lifting.

After my course correction, I spent two weeks in Austin to recover and transition to a lifestyle more befitting of a person who gives a shit about being alive. My emotions were erratic in the beginning, but impulse control was made easier by the level of disgust I felt about the depth I had allowed myself to settle to.

I got my head screwed on straight again, and I started riding my bicycle. I had the right medicine all along, and it was a joy to roll in a meandering carefree manner all around Austin. I parked my Sienna in my favorite spot near downtown Austin, and I didn't move it one inch for the two weeks I spent in town. I used my bicycle for all errands, exploration, and every social opportunity I could find. 

I used the Bike Austin website and Meetup dot com to find group rides to participate in. I showed up to group rides in street clothes with a 40lb bicycle featuring a milk crate on the rack. The road bicycle folks were kind, though incredulous, but after a climb or two they got the picture. I didn't go on any "A" rides, but I proved the capability of my equipment on a few "no drop" rides to people who had overspent in search of a shortcut to speed and stamina. Then we'd all go out for either coffee or tacos.

(yes, I am on Instagram)
I was happy for the social opportunity of riding bicycles. I didn't fit the demographic of the others on any of the rides, but all of us had at least one thing in common - we wanted to ride bicycles together. That was enough. 

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