A few weeks ago I was asked when I felt most confident. I couldn't really give an answer at the time, though today it dawned on me as I was riding down Akeny and turning left to head to Stark where a local coffee shop that I like sits. With my right arm stretched out making my turn known, looking both ways before I proceeded that this that was confidence. Being assertive, being myself, being direct in my stance… It doesn't happen over night. Portland and the roadways here still intimated me a little yet I keep doing it, watching and trying each day.
I was more of a hesitant rider when I first bought my bike a little over a year ago. I bought it out of frustration of feeling like I was constantly waiting and not feeling as independent. I had started to finally enjoy what I felt like was at the time a force to slowdown 4 years ago. Getting the bike made my commute to work quicker, more enjoyable and safer. I started to finally feel more independent with my time going to local concerts, exploring more of the town, going out more visiting with friends. It was like getting three extra hours out of my day, I started biking to work, I went on more hikes, got to see Ogden in a different way.
Over the last year my bike and I have explored a multiple amount of cities, getting lost, looking for unique features, historical landmarks and learning how to properly ride a bicycle on the roadways. Some days it takes a lot out of you, the angry motorist, the confused motorist, the weather and the road signs that make no sense. Yet I keep doing it because the pros all outway the cons. The extra fitness I receive, the financial freedom, my sense of helping the environment, my self worth and self confidence that I get on a daily basis.
In Portland its a part of daily life. Just about everyone rides a bike and the satisfaction of riding always has everyone with smiling faces. The fact that you are taking it just a little slower to enjoy your commute home, you notice your neighbors, when the trees and the flowers bloom. You notice the wind and sun on your cheeks, you take notice that your not the only human being living. We learn to be like kids again, to take it easy and for a moment enjoy the wind in our hair.