It’s A Quiet Place For Me
There is a line song from one of my favourite punk bands that goes “And like Thoreau, it’s a quiet place for me”. For whatever reason, this line has always stood out to me. It recently got me thinking about what I consider a quiet place and what my “Walden” looks like.
Travelling by bike has been my gateway to this discovery process. This form of travel has presented me with a number of gifts, namely the gift of setting an intention and learning to slow down in an ever more hectic world. I have found that the bike can be a meditative space, it is a space that allows me to think and be present in a moment that I might not have otherwise found in a yoga studio or in another structured practice.
At the beginning of each trip, I have come to find that setting a theme or focusing on a concept has been integral in getting into the right mindset for a tour. I have found that this helps me frame the ride and bringing intention to the experience. The most recent tour that I was on was called “In Search of Stoke”. I will be honest, I am sure for many the word “stoke” elicits images of wild times with party bros. However, in this instance, it was about finding that true joy and purpose that a bike can bring and getting back to the basic feelings that felt when you first learned how to ride. Over the 3 days and 200 miles that we rode, what I found to be truly amazing to watch was that for each person, they had their own unique moments of growth, frustration, and joy.
I truly believe that we can’t control what we gain from travelling by bike or when we gain it, but having central concept helps us make sense of the experiences both in the moment and after the fact.
Ultimately what I have found is that the road provides with me a chance to let go of arbitrary goals and is my chance to unplug and find the balance between the world around me and the solitude. It provides a chance to seek out insights that you might not otherwise find in your regular routine. The road is a place to explore my fears, embrace discomfort, and challenge myself. The road is my quiet place. What yours?