I had my first bicycle ride of the season. Yesterday was a spectacular day here in Chicago. I think the temp got up to at least 70 F. The sun was shining, the sky was blue. What’s not to love? I spent the morning answering some emails and then tuned up my bicycle. The chain was rather gunky and there was still mud splatter from my last ride. Cleaning the bike was something of a meditation for me. It focuses me on what is right in front of me and calls me to pay attention to the way each piece works and is part of the whole. Yes, it’s messy (my fingers are still stained with grease) but it is also a preparation for the supreme joy of riding. I met up with a friend of mine, threw the bike on the car rack and took off for a forest preserve. It was beautiful. Families were out in the park, people running, biking, strolling, and playing ball. I didn’t have my bike computer (odometer) on so I was blissfully unconscious of time and clocking miles.
Riding my bike also reminded me of a lecture I was at on Friday. It was given by the renown Scripture scholar N.T. Wright. He was talking about the notion of time and how time is like a bicycle wheel—it is cyclical (because it repeats itself like a wheel spinning around an axle) but it is also linear (because as the wheel spins it is also moving the bike forward along a line). Fascinating. Such an understanding of time was not a new concept to me, but the image of a bicycle wheel to explain it was new to me. I am often a visual thinker–I do better when I can picture concepts in my mind. This image has stuck with me. Now when I am out riding my bike I can meditate on how I am a part of time!