An Ode to Bike Riding

Words by Matthew Spence:

You don’t need mescaline to touch the sky (granted it’ll probably help), just ride a bike. The euphoria is equal. The sound of the hub is better than rain on a late night, snow on a Christmas morning, and the crackling of vinyl. It manages to be comforting like the light noise of a bedroom fan. Unless you’re trying to be inconspicuous then… it’s probably inconvenient, but oh well. Pedaling away, the environment feels more alive as you breeze by cars, houses, stores, and buildings, and that one dickhead who never keeps their big ass dog on a leash. Whether you’re free roaming with friends, on a weekly exercise trail; in a parking lot, or in the neighborhood, it’s a time frame where you’re with yourself and free in the moment. Standing above the seat as you pedal gives a feeling of victory like you can touch the sky while you let the bike cruise on its own for a few seconds. In other words, it’s pretty neat.

At that moment, you are the main characters surrounded by a soundtrack that has Girl in Red, Beabadoobee, Japanese Breakfast and whatever else would be in a Diablo Cody film or teenage dream playlist. Which is fitting cause seeing characters in film/tv ride bikes while pissing in the wind in life feels like a sample loop we wish we could be a part of.

Photo: HBO
Photo: Pinterest

 

As a kid, seeing Pharrell and Chad Hugo (the Neptunes and N.E.R.D.) ride bikes in the “Lapdance” and “Provider” music videos was a friendship goal in my 10-year-old eyes and seeing Pharrell do his signature BMX trick me blew my fucking mind. [Skip to 1:28 in the video below]

 

But it’s not about being Mat Hoffman with wheelies and bunny hops (but they are bonuses) because most of us would fall on our asses trying to be. It’s about blowing off steam, being with your thoughts, and having a blast while escaping the world for a few hours.  Escape, that’s all we try to do as we’re older. Professor Future Hendrix once said: “Issa Evil World We Live In” and no truer words have been spoken since then. Hence why with any given opportunity, we try to escape the stress of work, school, and troubling circumstances no matter how major or minor they may be. Some people paint, others skate, some knit, some play video games, others change their name and move out of the country; whatever gets you off yo. Biking is on my list: next to playing guitar and [Choose Your Own Adventure Joke: Masturbation or Buying books to never get past Chapter 1]

I remember my first bike with training wheels (which still resides in our shed) and the “big kid” first bike I rode up until I was 11 (which I also still have). The feeling of joy and freedom that I had control of. Knowing if I wanted to I could travel anywhere I wanted to and just bask in the independence as I rode around the neighborhood and parking lot with my neighborhood friends. Of course, I was still a timid kid that was afraid of 40% of everything that exists in the world, so my ass wasn’t trying to get too independent and run into bears, coyotes, and hedgehogs. The point still remains or like the Led Zeppelin concert, the Song Remains the Same. Shit was tight. During the pandemic, the time where everyone was trying to find happiness in the shittiness time in life, I bought a new bike and assembled it (to the best of my ability of course). Why? Cause I wanted to capture the magic I remember that it gives, and now as much as I can, whenever I can, I bring it out for a ride. Why again? Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in awhile… it could suck. So don’t start a fight. Ride a Bike

 

 

 

This a PSA brought to you by: Weird Cherry

 

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