There isn’t anything more precious in life than family. Just ask those who don’t have one. There is something missing, a void that cannot be filled with gangs, drugs, alcohol, or anything else when family is absent from the picture. The structure of family is so important to every member of the family. The reciprocation of love strengthens and binds and drives out loneliness and insecurities.
Recently, my father-in-law and mother-in-law discovered they’re love for riding a bicycle, all over again. It is always so amazing to me (and never gets old) how much of a huge smile a two-wheel, pedaled vehicle will put on people’s faces (note my father-in-law’s face) who maybe hadn’t been on a bicycle since they were a child. The freedom and feeling of flying is so addicting and soothing that it doesn’t take the brain long to say . . . Oh yeah! I remember how awesome this was!
To say the least, of course, I’m excited about the new interest. My in-laws live near the Chief Ladiga Bicycle Trail in North Alabama. I’m always up for a ride, so my wife and I carried our bikes up there on a beautiful Saturday. I took some time fixing the front derailleur on my father-in-law’s bike and lubing the chain. It wasn’t long before we were all on the road. The trail is a wonderful rails-to-trails project that I written about before. You are surrounded by the mountains that spill in from Tennessee. The trail later connects to the Silver Comet, at the Georgia line, that carries a rider almost all the way to Atlanta! We pedaled along and enjoyed the afternoon. In the end, we had gone 7 miles with a 7.4 mph pace . . . cruising.
Isn’t it strange how slowing down helps a person to re-attach? No one was pulling. No one was racing. No one was trying for a Strava record. The joy of riding is guarded by the feeling of freedom. Sharing a love of something with those you love is an incredible feeling that is only compounded. I can see this happening again very soon. So, if you see us on the trail, don’t expect us to yell, “On your left!” and come blowing by. We’re enjoying our bicycles.