Sunday, 14 July 2013

The Joy of Conversational Cycling

The ultimate in conversational cycling; riding with
2000 plus people for the annual Bike Rave!
If you've ever ridden a bike with someone, chances are, you already know what conversational cycling is. Quite simply, it's the act of riding alongside someone and having a conversation while you bike to your destination. It doesn't involve any fancy riding techniques, any preparation or pre-planning, and definitely no special equipment. Just a willingness to travel at a comfortable speed and enjoy a conversation with a friend. For me, something so easily done is actually one of my favourite parts about riding a bike, because not only am I out on two wheels, but I get the chance to catch up with my husband, my children, and friends, including those I haven't had a chance to connect with in a while.

The week before school ended for my daughter, I travelled by bicycle to Third Beach to meet with her class for the annual primary beach day. My trip there was so relaxing, riding solo along the seawall with only other bike commuters, runners, and the occasional tourist to share my trip along the water with. When it was time to come home, my ride was equally as pleasant, but I had a nice treat with about a third of the way to go. While waiting at a light, a friend, contributor for Spacing Magazine, and fellow parent came up next to me. As we were both heading back the same way, we subsequently had a great conversation about how the school year had gone, travel plans for the summer, and chatted about work and life. It was such a lovely way to catch up after a busy school year, with our daughters in different classes this year and therefore not having as much time to chat at drop off and pick ups. When we parted ways, we were both left smiling and waving goodbye, and it certainly was a great way to close out a day well spent.

It's almost a little funny that we classify this type of cycling, because it really is no different than having a conversation with someone while walking, taking transit or driving. But I guess there is something about sharing the experience of riding a bike with someone that makes it special, at least to me. I've written before about how much I love late night rides with my husband, because it gives us a chance to have a quite conversation without our children's noise in the background. Even riding with my daughter is such an amazing way to listen to her stories of her day, answer her far-outreaching questions and for me to offer a few life lessons. While my son isn't riding on his own yet, I'm sure you may have seen me riding along the seawall with him in the trailer, sharing a completely illogical but amusing conversation about whatever he is fascinated with at the moment (currently, that revolves around if all the trees died, we would "pop" into outer space and have to share a space suit).

I cherish every moment I spend on my bike, and the times I get to share that with others is truly special. Whether it's a ride to the store, the beach or anywhere in between, being able to have a thoughtful, or even silly, conversation with someone during that trip is definitely a perk. So next time you're out with a friend on a bike, take a moment to appreciate what your doing. Find enjoyment from the fact that not only are you sharing what could be a great conversation with someone you know and care about, but you're also sharing the simple pleasure of riding a bicycle.

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