Some days, the bike commute is not glorious. It’s not greeting-card sunrises and waxing poetic about active transport being the savior of mankind. You don’t stop and take glamour shots of your bike leaning against a bridge. It’s just /getting to work/. I’m thinking about the project waiting for me that I would rather do anything else than work on. I’m doing creative Steven Hawking Future-Math in my head to try and figure out how the bills are going to get paid on time and still be able to pay for – and somehow guiltlessly enjoy – the planned family vacation that’s already booked. I have to go to the dentist today. THE DENTIST. I don’t want to smile, and nod, and say ‘G’morning’ to everyone I pass on the way (though I still do). The monkey that I’ve stuffed way down in the bottom of the back pannier is nagging, “DUDE, WE SHOULD TOTALLY HIT THAT CIRCLE K, SCORE A MASSIVE COLD COKE AND A BAG OF CARAMEL M&M’S AND JUST SIT ON A BENCH AND STEW IN OUR OWN JUICES FOR AWHILE. THAT’S WHAT YOU NEEEEEEEEEED…..” Riding the bike to work ceases to be a transcendent experience and devolves to a ‘Commute’. But still, it allows for these types of reflection and rumination. Still, the cyclical meditative nature of it is soothing. Still, the fact that it’s a physical activity is satisfying. Eventually I’m able to realize that, at this moment, there’s nothing I can do about those bills. I can’t do anything about that project right now – it’s still a bike ride away. There are people far worse off than me. I could have caved, driven, and be fully regretting it right now – and – finally, come the end of the day, there’s a ride in the other direction home. In ways I can’t always elucidate, riding the bike is still. Better. SSSSHHHH. Shut up, monkey.