Introducing a new author – named “FindingCalm” – on the blog as we turn SheCyclesNairobi into a Nairobi female cyclist community. She writes:
I have always thought that it would be cool if I had been born with a “brain on/brain off switch”. This way, I can know some ‘tranquility’, as my brain finds rest from the pesky thoughts bubbling in my head. Things I did, things I should have done. Things I need to do, things I probably need to do but don’t. And ultimately the regrets of not doing many of them at all.
Aside from the impracticability of having a brain on/brain off switch, there is a likelihood it can be hit by mistake or your proxy forgets to switch you back on at the agreed time. I fancy knowing such ‘peace’. I also imagined that booting back would rid me of aimless thoughts, that would be ‘trashed’ and I can begin a refreshed.
This was before I picked up cycling.
As with any other sport, for other athletes, cycling is my brain off switch. While cycling, I find myself relieved of the burden of having to think through problems or planning my day, I just enjoy the ride. I used to commute on public transport listening to music or podcast, but even then, I’d find myself planning for the day ahead, or trying to come up with solutions to pending issues.
Starting point - good road, sparse traffic
My morning commute rides are enjoyable because my route is relatively downhill, with barely any climbs. I can go fast. There’s nothing like the cool morning wind on your face to get you fully awake. There’s no room in my brain for anything that will distract me from staying alert to the vulnerability of cycling in Nairobi. By the time I get to the office, I am on an endorphin-high. After freshening up I sit at my desk as my body winds down from the ride, leaving a mental stillness that makes it easy to focus and plan for the day.
The newly constructed highways; smooth, open, good for fast riding.
The ride back home is mostly a gentle climb, with a descent at the very end. So the mild strain going up, somehow rids me of whatever disappointments I experienced during the day. Just calm. The short descent at the very end, is always refreshing. I love the rush as I gain speed, and abruptly come to a stop. Finally home.
Bit of rough road, engages a bit of off-road riding.
As with any repetitive action, it finally becomes an automatic reflex. It’s so with cycling. The more you cycle, the quicker your reflexes and the more automated those reflexes become. Coupled with the familiarity of my commute route, my bike rides are typically dream-like. Free of mulling over stuff, at each destination, work or home, I find that when I do get down to addressing things that need doing, the solutions came fast and easily. Turns out, I am a much nicer person to be around these days.
Happy Cycling in Nairobi and beyond! ❤ Nairobi! ❤ Cycling!