Taste the nectar

So yesterday as I was traveling at the speed of bike, I got seduced by the fragrance of blooming honeysuckle and stopped to taste its nectar. (You remove a flower, pull off its stamen from the bottom, and lick the single, glorious drop of sweetness that emerges.)

I had been thinking about National Bike Month starting today, May 1, and what I could possibly share with folks that might make a difference. In past years, I offered free classes and advocated for safe-access-for-all.

For this year’s National Bike Month (as bikes sell out at stores nationwide for the first time since the 1970s as a result of people sheltering-in-place, trying to boost mental and physical health, needing transportation, and other reasons during the global COVID-19 pandemic), I’m gonna focus solely on joy.

I won’t get to play Ode to Joy on this xylophone for awhile (as I continue to shelter-in-place and that’s not in my local riding area). But I hope that at the end of each day, I can say I truly rode to joy.

Follow along, if you want. Join me out there virtually (#RodeToJoy on Instagram and Twitter). Add your own moments of joy while Traveling at the Speed of Bike. Wave to a stranger (see photos of Todays Nice Stranger here). Explore a side road or a path to somewhere you’ve never been. Enjoy a sunrise or sunset. Ride in the warm afternoon rain (this is Heaven). Taste the nectar.

The New York Times ran a life-affirming list of community suggestions for more things we can do this summer to bring joy back. The bottom line, however, is it actually doesn’t take a community (and sometimes trying to persuade a community will actually erode your joy).

It takes the ripple effect of you, and the one or two small actions you can take without needing approval, support, or expensive resources. And for me, that’s to plant a seed, and to ride a bike.

Let’s go.