Take a hike or try a bike (ride). I love both. How about you? So, what if you couldn’t enjoy a favorite form of fun, relaxation or exercise for almost two years?

Well, that’s been me with hopping on my mountain bike and taking a spin on the side streets in my neighborhood. Now granted, I live in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies. I’m surrounding by mountains and live in a hilly part of town. Lest you envision me as a hardcore MTBer doing kickers with some hangtime, I need to redirect that image.

I haven’t taken my bike on many true mountain biking trails for a few years. For the sake of time, I mainly head down my hilly street and hit several flatland streets about a half-mile away. Going back up the sloping pavement toward my home is the real workout!

A Real Celebration Day

Just today I realized I had not been biking since the fall of 2020. WHAT!!??! That October, I put my bike away in the garage for winter. A few months later in January 2021, I slipped on ice and injured my left thumb. With my hand pain and swelling throughout all last year, my bike was lonely. Sure, I rode stationary bikes at the gym. It’s not the same.

Fast forward to thumb surgery five months ago and working through my rehab. Last week, my hand surgeon cleared me for biking again. The other day, my neighbor, Rob, filled up my deflated bike tires. There was no excuse. No reason to forsake my mountain bike another day.

Today was a real celebration day for my bike and me! Off we zoomed into the semi-cool mountain air. Breezes shooshed gently through my helmet. Cloudless, baby blue skies. Pikes Peak as a backdrop.

Finally, I was back enjoying one of my favorite types of exercise and energizing. No emails dinging. No phones ringing. I was free to roam about the neighborhood on my mid-90s Mongoose Hill Topper SX. (So what if a YouTube video calls this model “vintage”? Note: I did originally have a few bells and whistle added to mine, but still … my bike is old but works just fine.)

Any Slowdowns Nudging You?

You know what I observed in my trek? Many houses those 12 blocks or so away, looked freshly painted. Some now had striking brick embellishments or a complete stucco remodel. Other homes sported fresh green sod or an array of flowers and bushes in full colorful bloom.

Did everyone dial it up to upgrade their homes since I last rode along these streets to my south? Perhaps many homeowners took advantage of the pandemic lockdown and refurbished their property. Or with the wild real estate market, they freshened the exterior of their homes and sold while the prices were high.

Or was it just me finally noticing the neighborhood aesthetics after my two-year hiatus? Maybe pre-2021, I was simply too absorbed in biking as fast as I could for a good cardio workout and never really noticed the cute bi-level home on Bella Drive or the charming landscaping on Sprucewood?

Noticing the Little Things

Being forced to the sideline will do that to you. When you are placed on injured reserve in life, the slowdown nudges you to take stock and recalibrate. Can you relate? Maybe you’ve faced your own hiatus in recent years because of health, work, relationships, finances or other scenarios. I’m there with you.

Whenever it’s time for you to get back in your own bike saddle or settle into your newly adjusted lifestyle, I invite you to look around you and notice the little things that maybe you zoomed by before.

I encourage you to notice the good, the new, the inspiring right around you in THIS day. As I discovered, it’s there whether you choose to hike, bike (ride) or chill on a porch swing. Just don’t miss it another day!