The Beauty of Biking: Witness the World on Wheels

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The cyclist's transitory path

A compass may guide him on a northbound journey, wheels may fly him down valleys and mountains, muscles bulging out beneath sweat-soaked skin may aid him on his way, but they only take him so far- his mind must do the rest. Nestled away in that hazy purgatory lying somewhere between serenity and exhaustion is the cyclist’s mind, an enigmatic fortress of determination.

The milkman on his morning rounds, the cherry tree’s proud blossoms, summer’s weary sunflowers, autumnal leaves beneath the wheel, a smiling man of snow and a baker on a homeward journey-  a secret spectator to all things fleeting, our fair cyclist soundlessly rides on; little does he realise, he is but as transient as the world he silently witnesses. His toes are nimble, his calves are large, his eye is sharp; a vagabond on wheels, appreciate him while you can- a gentle nod or a knowing wave as he flies past your doorstep with one eye on the future and one eye on the past.

Bearing the brunt of road rage and frequently finding themselves motorists’ scapegoat of choice for transport delays and traffic congestion– should we be more appreciative of cyclists? A fateful picture of doping and traffic accidents or a flourishing beacon of environmental awareness and international sporting excellence- is cycling a dying art or a ray of hope? Does biking really promote environmental protection? Are we really wise to extol the benefits of cycling?

SPRING

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Sakura [Japanese cherry trees] and fleeting bike bound visitors cross paths under a spring sky- the year’s momentary  blossoms fall onto cyclists’ shoulders.

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One moment there, the next moment not- a springtime cyclist finds himself to be but as ephemeral as the sunset that lies in wait before him.

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SUMMER

Soaring sunflowers welcome cyclists on their summer journey.

Soaring sunflowers welcome cyclists on their summer journey.

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Yet further, yet higher, beyond rivers, lakes, oceans and mountains- having sipped the addictive adventure poison that is biking, a cyclist looks on eagerly to her future destinations.

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Lijiang’s rural cows happen upon bike-bound passers by journeying through their town.

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Inhabitants adorn floral wreaths and take to their saddles for summer in Yangshuo.

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Bicycles rest invitingly in the afternoon sun along the quaint canals of Amsterdam-Holland’s capital where the cyclist is king. 

Bike Parks burst to the seams in every corner of Amsterdam in late July.

Bike Parks burst to the seams in every corner of Amsterdam as summer rolls by.

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Cyclists bask in the golden glow of Ibiza’s summer in late-July.

AUTUMN

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Not to be overshadowed by taxis, buses, lorries, motorbikes and scooters speeding across the roads in early October, cycles remain prominent protagonists on Shanghai’s hectic transport stage.

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Want to declare true devotion to the cyclists’ cause? Pack up your belongings and cycle your electric scooter home instead like this Xian local.

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Autumn leaves crunch beneath the wheel- biking bliss ensues in London parks.

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WINTER

A cyclist's winter path winds along country fields and warps itself around the distant mountains of Guangxi province lost in the fog.

A cyclist’s winter path winds invitingly along country farms, wrapping itself around the mountains of Guangxi province lost in the fog.

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A traditional dessert seller on wheels braves icy conditions to sweeten winter’s tooth in Tianjin.

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Leafless trees lead bike-enthusiasts on their way to Cambridge.

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Beneath the Christmas tree, seal another year with a final annual cycle along the Thames.

Beneath the Christmas tree, show off the beauty of winter cycling chic and seal another year with a final annual cycle along the Thames.

King's Cross Station of cosmopolitan London opens its doors to a cocktail of visitors and their bicycles each year.

King’s Cross Station of cosmopolitan London opens its doors to a cocktail of visitors and their bicycles each year.

Want to discover more about the beauty of biking across the universe? Have a read of The beauty of cycling, Love thy bike, Beauty ‘n’ the bikes, Back alley bikes, Bike Potatoes and The joy of cycling.

 

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42 thoughts on “The Beauty of Biking: Witness the World on Wheels

  1. I love this post. One of the things on my potential bucket list is getting back into cycling, and this post just pushed me further in that direction! Thanks! 🙂

  2. Pingback: How To Ride Your Bike In The Snow | yearofthehorses

  3. Hi Rachel! Well, I’m exhausted after that bike trip around the world! So much less tiring from the couch, LOL! Wanted to pop over and say hello and see your sweet corner of the blogging world. I loved your “About”! Thanks for visiting mine and subscribing. It is great fun meeting new blogging buddies. Cheers and Happy 2014, Margie

  4. Nice reading about you

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Be in touch. Browse through the category sections, I feel you may find something of your interest.

    Happy New Year !!!!!!! and best wishes for you in 2014 🙂

  5. Random thoughts as I read this post:

    A friend asked: “Why are the Japanese so obsessed with the Sakura?”
    In a whim, I answered: “The word for Sakura is written as the combination of tree, money and girl.”
    “Ah, that makes sense”, he says.

    Himawari – often depicted as bubbly, friendly, charming, out going and yet absent minded, stubborn, air-headed, frivolous or loud.., I wonder why?

    Random conversation in Beijing:

    “I don’t see as many bikes in Beijing as it used to be depicted on the pictures anymore.”
    “Well, the rich ride in cars, the middle class takes taxis and subway while saving up for a car, and the working class and students ride the bus. So, only the poor ride bikes these days, and nobody wants to appear as poor.”
    “What about those foreigners?”
    “Huh? Foreigners are just crazy, otherwise who will be sane enough to go out there and breathe in all that pollution willingly?”

    A monologue from a presentation:

    “I went there to look for chickens, and I didn’t find any at first”, next slide, “Found a cow”, next slide, “I finally managed to locate some chickens and believe it or not, they were crossing the road.”

    Famous Chinese Proverb, no less than 10 years old:

    “I would rather cry in the luxurious leather seat of my expensive BMW, then laugh in the back seat of a bicycle.”
    – Spoken by a girl on a national marriage/dating tv show in China.

    Lovely work as usual.

  6. Wow, you’ve just made me revisit my last few bike rides and view them in another light. I always see my rides as training and subconsciously knew I got more out of it than that. Given me inspiration for my next blog.

  7. These pieces you do are so full. Turning something as normal/popular/mundane like cycling into a focal point to display something common between your travels is pretty awesome. Your writing style and photo material really complement each other. This is really great stuff!

  8. Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to
    everything. Do you have any helpful hints for rookie blog
    writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

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