Bicycle Daydreams

From 2009-2011, I was obsessed with biking. Those years were a respite for me from mold/biotoxin illness. I hadn’t been properly diagnosed at that time, so my treatments were very hit or miss (mostly miss). But we’d moved into a much healthier house and intuitively had replaced most of our furniture, including the entire bedroom.

I was still on seven prescription medications, and was plagued by back pain, insomnia, and anxiety. By the end of 2010, I was battling gastritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and my inflammation levels were ramping back up. But for two beautiful years, if I was careful, and made sure I iced my back for 15 minutes twice a day, I was well enough to ride.

And I was in love with my bike. My time on the bike was my favorite time of every day. It helped me feel present in my body and mind. I started riding a lot: 100-150 miles a week. I kept a diary of my rides, and the words reflected the quiet, peaceful rhythm cycling brought to my life.

Bicycle Daydreams

In Heaven There Are No Roads. That’s what the bumper sticker says on the gray van as I climb up the Salmon side of Tabor…my second time up. “Well, that’s not possible, because then there could be no bicycles. Must be hikers,” I think. But, then I think that maybe there could be a bike path system instead of roads, like they had in Finland.

This gets me thinking more about what MY perfect world would be. I’m amazed that this line of thought is very soothing. As I round the top for the second time, I’ve decided that people get around on bicycle but there are fewer of us. About 2 billion. And, no back pain…maybe we need tails so our backs don’t hurt so much.

I bomb down the Lincoln side and think about everyone being kind and gentle and lovely. I think about all the babies being jumbled up and adopted by wonderful parents so everyone cared about everyone and we weren’t so isolated.

And, nobody asks why. They just live and breathe and love and laugh and they don’t worry so much. Now, I’m just pedaling and breathing and so relaxed it feels like I’ve had three beers, taken a sauna, and I’m listening to ocean sounds. Left, right, left, right. My breathing is less inhale/exhale as it is pause/exhale, pause/exhale. Left, right, oh look, dandelions, left, right. Pause/exhale, pause/exhale.

Sigh. What a beautiful time that was.

By mid-2011 my back and health were both a full-on mess again. Riding my bike often left me bedridden. So I gave it up. I had to.

But now that I have been properly diagnosed and treated, my back is finally well! I’m riding again and this time it is without any pain at all. It feels like a miracle!

New daydreams are starting. Bicycle trip daydreams. It would have to be somewhere with great air…somewhere like Iceland. But hey…I could do a bicycle trip somewhere with great air, like Iceland!


Sara Riley Mattson is a fitness expert, health coach, musician, and author of Camp Like a Girl and Migraine: Finding My Own Way Out. Sara has a bunch of stories at her Patreon site, too.

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