I used to live in a city where I had to ride my bike around. The only time I ever took the train was when I had to go someplace out of reach of my bicycle. There was a movie theater I used to go to that was aboutÂ a ten kilometer ride, so it was defiantly doable, but I didn’t want to get sweaty before I watched a movie, so I usually took the train. The local places that I went to I usually went to by bicycle. And at the time, I thought it was a drag, because sometimes I was kind of tired, and didn’t really feel like riding my bike home.
I had a friend kept three or four bikes around town. His theory was that two or three junker bikes would be a better value than one nice bike, because he would always have an option of leaving by bike or by taxi. Because he always had a bike stashed somewhere he could use. And some of the bicycle places shut down early, before the bars, so it was sometimes convenient to get a ride someplace other than he had planned on going. He was always looking for ways to be more flexible. He thought that always having two or three options in his back pocket was the best way to go.
He reminded me of a speaker at a seminar I went to once. It wasÂ a stress management seminar, and the guy was saying that most people make the mistake of wanting less stress. He said that people that have lower stress overall actually have pretty boring lives. He said they key is to be able to find the bubbles in the stress, and make good use of them. One guy that was sitting next to me asked about this, as did the guy that was sitting behind me. They wanted to know why he was talking about bubbles in stress. But then he said that bubbles were really the moments in the middle of a stressful period where you can momentarily forget what is going on around you, and just exist by yourself, in the moment. Just take a quick break and follow your breath for a couple cycles. In. Out. In. Out. Slow like. And he said the people that are actually the most flexible, the people that can find the most little bubbles in the stress throughout the day are the most healthy. He gave an example of an old Samurai warrior who had about a five minute time period between battles, and decided to lean against a tree to recharge himself, while all his Samurai buddies were sharpening their swords. The tree contemplating Samurai, of course, was victorious.
Sometimes my friend even was able to loan his bikes out due to his flexibility in their placement, because it’s always good to have friends. And he told me once he even had bikes in other cities, because sometimes the trains stop at stations that aren’t so close to the city center, and you never know when you are going to take an impromptu trip out to the sticks.
The city I live in how has lots of trains and opportunities to use public transportation, so I haven’t even used my bike yet. But I’ve had to run and catch connecting trains and busses and such, and I’m finding that those bubbles sure do come in handy. But you already knew that, didn’t you?