Cycling: Lose Yourself. Find Yourself


There’s no denying that surfing is an incredible zen-like sport where people can jump right into nature, become one with the environment, and kiss God all at once.  But I’d like to add cycling to the small list of activities that help you lose yourself and find yourself all at the same time.

The bike has been my saviour more than a time or two and I can’t think of even one ride that I didn’t fall into that meditative zen state for at least a little part of the ride.  The bike has often allowed me to get away from “reality” and lose myself and empty my mind for a little part of the day.  But it’s also been the place where I’ve learned about who I am, what I believe in, and just how far I can push myself.

When you’re on the road, you are on mother nature’s schedule and your “real world” tasks and timelines just sort of slip off your back as you’re riding away.  You become a kid again.  You gain a sense of pride in knowing that you’re cruising along with your own self-induced power.  You are in tune with nature….and are much more connected with your inner spirit.  All these things and more are what put you in that magical zen state…..allowing you to lose yourself and find yourself at the same time.

Now I know y’all have got some great on-the-bike zen stories for us.  Let’s hear all about them.

Enjoy Your Ride

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22 Responses to “ Cycling: Lose Yourself. Find Yourself ”

  1. Malachi on June 24, 2012 at 5:46 am

    It’s nice to see that American Trancendentalism is alive and well in the pelton.

  2. Horizon Seeker on June 23, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    The cadence, controlling your breathing, the faint click of a gear change, temperature nuance, ahhhhhhhh!

  3. Dan "LineBiker" C. on June 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Awesome post! You had me at the lead: “jump right into nature, become one with the environment, and kiss God all at once.”

    I’m not a surfer but can totally apply that comment to the bike. I love the active “jump,” but also the listening “become…” At our church we say, “Go and Be!” as an encouragement to engage life but without an agenda other than kindness. That’s what I was thinking when you said “jump … and become.” Then you said “kiss God!” I just love that idea. Can’t wait to hit the road in the morning, kiss my wife & daughters on the forehead, then say, “I’ll be back in a couple of hours; I gotta go kiss God.”

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on June 23, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      Thanks Dan. I always kiss my Wife and Kids before each ride as well….great to hear your comments on this one.

  4. Rob at on June 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Darryl, you are pretty close to spot on. What most non-surfers do not realize is that surfing, on a time basis, is 20% looking for surf, 60% paddling back out after a ride, 18% waiting for the next wave (if crowds are thin) and about 2% of the time is standing on the board riding a wave. It is all about ritual and social dynamic. The physical aspects of paddling are repetitive, yet the movement of the water keeps the playing field dynamic. Surfing is a completely selfish act, that allows one to be detached from their realities for a bit, and just be in the moment. If you loose focus you generally pay for it with a shorter ride or longer paddle back out.

    Cycling as most readers here know is much the same. The rituals either for the commuter or the racer, all part of the process. You have to pay attention to what you are doing or you pay the price, sometimes with skin.

    I surf and bike. As I get older and life gets busy I find myself cycling more than surfing. The bike is more adaptive to the elements of nature, and you can do it almost any time you want. Both provide that moment you need, to focus your mind on a singular point, to keep things in life and in your mind from getting out of hand

    I surf and Bike, but find myself on the bike more often. within.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on June 22, 2012 at 7:27 pm

      Thanks for your input on this one, Rob. You’re definitely much more of an expert as I’ve only ridden the waves a couple times. I think I must have been a surfer in a previous life however and I really feel my soul leaning in that direction.
      Whether you’re on the bike or on the board, I hope you’re able to get the time to go within, recharge, and focus.

  5. Alex Turner on June 22, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Normally get into the zone after 6 miles or so. The endorphins begin to flow after about 15 minutes. Grinding up hill gets me in deep.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on June 22, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      I agree, Alex. There is definitely a point where it’s easier to get in the zone. Thanks for your comments.

  6. Jordan White on June 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Totally meant to send out a #LovingTheBike tweet last night but got distracted after the ride!

    There was a few minutes during last nights ride that all I could hear was birds singing, the wind blowing and my tires humming across the pavement. It was totally a “I could do this forever” moment. Felt so good!

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on June 22, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      Hey Jordan…..I know the feeling. All bike rides are great, but the ones where you’re really in the zone and time is infinite are the best.

  7. Roger B on June 22, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Riding a bike is the best form of medition that I know of. This is a very nice article and I agree 100%.

  8. CJG800 on June 22, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I completely agree, nothing is better then being on a trail, deep in the woods to forget everything else going on in your life. Also on the road, I find the constant pedal cadence can be a great form of meditation.

  9. Nick on June 22, 2012 at 8:54 am

    I surf and ride and find a similar zen state in both of these sports. I think I’m attracted to this and need it to calm and focus me inside. There’s nothing better then putting on miles out on an open road and losing yourself.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on June 22, 2012 at 11:53 am

      Man, I wish I surfed more. To me it would be the greatest thing ever if I could spend each day either riding or surfing….or both.

  10. Alexandru Burlacu on June 22, 2012 at 8:28 am

    When you’re riding out of the city you’re cycling in another dimension. The time and the world are totally different… and the bike is the last chakra you’ll discover. It was there from the beginning of the journey and now it just became a part of your body.

    (sorry for my English)

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on June 22, 2012 at 11:53 am

      Thanks, Alexandru….that is some great wisdom you shared with us. Thank you.

  11. Charles on June 22, 2012 at 5:28 am

    Cycling grounds you at your root chairs and when you focus on the breath the prana moves to your crown chakra. The root chairs is about power and desire. This is a strong life force.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on June 22, 2012 at 11:54 am

      I don’t know much about chakra’s, but with both you and Alexandru mentioning it….I guess it’s something I should look into a little more.

  12. @SteamyWynndows on June 22, 2012 at 5:11 am


    I always try to explain to people the sort of feeling you get on a bike and they always have the same, screwed up, confused, “but you’re a grown” kind of face. I try to tell them that EVER single time I get on a bike, for the first mile I’m 6 years old again!

    They don’t understand, but that makes it all the more satisfying!

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on June 22, 2012 at 11:54 am

      Yes, it is one of those things that you just have to experience to totally get. Thanks for your comments.


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