One of my closest friends got married when he was 22 to his high school sweetheart. It surprised everyone, as we were only coming out of college and just trying to jump-start our respective careers. Fast-forward to today, and he has four little ones running about. A self-made man has always appeared to be extremely happy with his family and his career trajectory. But in our 15 years of friendship, it was only last week that he confessed to me something he thought to be so aberrant. He admitted that he felt he needed a break while he loved his wife and children. A holiday to be alone.
I consoled him and felt sorry because I had no idea. No one knew that he was mentally struggling. It never showed. I eagerly told him it was not wicked to think he needed a break, even from the people he loved dearly, for his emotional well-being. Even the strongest people need a breather to be alone with their thoughts.
After much convincing, I zealously encouraged him to indulge in a hobby I have also been trying out in my own time. This hobby serves as my mental break from everything else. I told him to go biking alone to the mountains. The plain truth is that there are only benefits to biking solo.
A Mental Breather
Biking is a welcome change of pace. Indeed, there is something exhilarating about experiencing nature and the elements first-hand away from the comfort of your home. According to Jill Suttie, Psy.D., experiencing nature can elicit better moods, make you generally happier, . It is believed that, as a species, we evolved to be tuned with .
How you handle your ride is entirely up to you. You won’t be pressured to perform or be on par with others while biking. There won’t be any nagging feeling that you need to keep up with others to enjoy the ride. The entire journey is on you and you alone. As opposed to group rides, you can experience the freedom of traveling alone and at your own pace. There is no scheduled time to arrive at a specific location, as your decisions will always be right. You can stop and metaphorically smell the flowers.
The benefits of biking to your health cannot be understated. Besides being mentally refreshing, studies have shown that that greatly contributes to increased cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, flexibility, and improved joint mobility and coordination. Additionally, it also causes a reduction in anxiety and depression. It is a low-cost but high-yield source of happiness and wellness. Biking can be your own personal and private .
Having only yourself as a benchmark, there is no pressure on your part to outperform anybody but yourself. With, anybody can easily track their progress using a cheap GPS cycling computer that stores data such as top speed, heart rate, cycling route, and calories burned. It would be an absolute thrill to find yourself improving as you go on subsequent rides.
Being Lost and Disconnected
While biking can also be gadget-led, as many enthusiasts opt to use GPS equipment to track their development, riding solo is also the perfect excuse to disconnect. With biking, you give yourself the chance to refuse to view emails, respond to messages, or check social media. Moreover, you can daydream of the craziest things and be distracted without stalling anyone else. You can entirely focus on your journey to discover your made-up routes.
In a word, life passes by so fast that one can get tangled up in the mess of schedules, meetings, and reports. Riding alone to distant and unknown places can feel liberating and exciting at the same time. Tap into your inner child and feel the wind as you journey through the relative unknown. Treat the ride as a great opportunity to rediscover yourself by uncovering new places to explore and see.
Biking solo is a great way to have your mental fortitude tested and honed while benefiting your physical health and well-being. Contemplate the trip as your meditation. It can even serve as the necessary break a person needs. It is an expedition where you only worry about your efforts and pace. Riding alone helps keep yourself in check so you can focus on yourself.