Why do I ride?

I ride because it's good for me and my mind.
Riding my bike is honestly my anti-depressant for life; it's a mobile therapist that I can go places on.

It does not mean that the ride I go on is perfect.
It does not mean every day I ride I'm riddled with joyous feelings or laughter.
It does not always take away the frustrated or angry feelings inside.
It does not always make the hurt go away.

More times than not, my getting on my bike is my working through a bunch of mental and emotional crap.
More times than not, I've found myself frustrated with the path I'm on-battling the wind and wishing for a break.

Does this make me weak? No.

I don't always mind the wind that blows against me; making me question my sanity and mental focus. I tell myself it will make me stronger physically. Eventually, riding into the wind will not pose an issue to my overall morale. Some days I thrive on the challenge that the wind gives me; a true test of my endurance. Some days I feel beaten down, and just wish I could go somewhere else or stop. Too far into the ride to stop. I've got to get home somehow.

Riding my bike got me through divorce.
Riding my bike has replaced the anti-depressants.
Riding my bike has given me a vice.
Riding my bike keeps my obsessive thoughts in check.
Riding my bike helps me keep my eating disorder at bay.
Riding my bike gives me strength.
Riding my bike gives me hope.
Riding my bike gives me freedom.
Riding my bike gives me challenges.
Riding my bike gives me pain.
Riding my bike gives me tears.
Riding my bike gives me space.
Riding my bike gives me answers.
Riding my bike gives me joy.
Riding my bike has brought me friends.
Riding my bike has brought me love.
Riding my bike has brought me a multitude of things; like health, a sense of well-being, and a bigger sense of confidence in myself.

I've found something I believe in, something that I can do pretty well, and something that gives me a sense of purpose.

I was petrified getting on my bike for the first time. I swore I couldn't ride. I did and I kept going; I was awed by the power it had over me.
People want to be told something is easy; I can't lie. It's not always going to be easy.
You will have to work at it. I did not accomplish my goals in my first ride; it took me months. Some things took me almost a year, and some will take me even longer.
I rode the whole loop about 3 times last year; this year I've ridden it entirely almost every day. Sometimes I've ridden it twice. Next year I'd like to ride it twice at least 2 times a week.
I couldn't get my water bottle out of the cage while biking until early this year. I was too afraid to do things one-handed.
I had two accidents two weeks apart; this was after I had been riding accident free for little over a year.
I will never, truly, love riding into the wind.
I have no time frame on when I will be confident with mountain biking.
I hate riding in the cold weather; but choose to on days I feel up for it.
I like riding in warm rain.
I like hearing the leaves crunch.
I like going fast.

Bike riding has grown with me, or I chose to have it grow with me. Either way, there are challenges that frustrate me to no end. Along with those challenges are personal gains that make the struggles worth it. I've had rides where I wanted to throw my hands up in frustration. I've had rides that I went on simply to just cry; rides where I talked out my fears and anxieties out. I've had rides that filled me so full of happiness that I felt I could burst. I've had rides where I accomplished or learned new things and felt powerful.

Just like therapy in the real world, not every session is going to be positive and uplifting. I don't always feel euphoric or have glitter and sparkles floating around me. My rides are my own; everyone has different perceptions. For others it might mean something else. I didn't expect a cake walk when it came to biking, I expected to work for something. I still am. That is why I ride.