Riding a bicycle for hours on end does weird things to your
brain. On a good day you find yourself slipping into an almost
meditative state where your head is clear and life seems gloriously
simple. Since we're at the dawn of a brand spanking new year it
seems like a good time to share three lessons I learned on two
wheels in 2011.
1. Healthy balance
I have four panniers on the bike so balance is very important.
If one pannier bag is full of beans and beer cans then I get the
wobbles, I'm less efficient and it's a hell of a lot harder to get
where I want to go. Life is a little bit like that, sometimes we
put too much in one of our life-bags. (Cheese alert!) If you have
too much in your career bag, your sports bag, your socialising bag
or even your family bag the rest of your life starts to wobble.
When you can get the balance right, everything flows.
2. Dead things = Danger
No matter which country I'm cycling in, I've noticed you've got
a much higher life expectancy rate if you stay off the national
highway. You see a lot less road kill on the quieter back roads so
whether you're a possum, a bird or a wobbly cyclist, the fewer dead
things you encounter, the better your chances.
3. Find the gap
The final and most strikingly obvious thing I learned while
riding a bicycle last year was, when you come to a narrow squeeze
or there's a parked car or scared hedgehog in your way, if you look
at the obstacle you hit it every single time. (I have the bruises
to prove it.) But if you instead look where you want to go
and find the gap, you don't even see the obstacle in front of
Here's to a balanced, long and happy life and finding all the gaps
What about you? Did you have any moments of clarity or lessons
learned in 2011?