I remember feeling pretty bored one day, so I packed my book bag with some water and a phone charger, then hopped on my bike. It was a weekday in the Summer of June 2018, and the temperature was comfortably warm. I didn’t really know where I wanted to go or how far I wanted to travel, but I wasn’t really concerned with that at the time. I currently live in Edinboro, so there’s a lot of backwoods routes to ride along in the Summertime, but as the evening approached I wanted to go somewhere else.

I was cruising along the quiet country roads of my humble town and before I knew it I was in McKean, which is about 10 miles from my apartment in Edinboro. In retrospect, I sort of felt limitless and free. I felt in control of my own life, and it felt good. The air felt good. The sun felt good. It was all good. And in that moment of self-reflection and feeling peace within myself, I told myself I wanted to watch the sunset on the beach of Presque Isle. I figured, “why not? I’m in control here.”

So I continued to ride, and within no time I was in Erie. By now my legs were feeling relatively sore, but it was the type of sensation that came with accomplishment. In a strange way, I was thankful to feel the soreness in my thighs because it reminded me that life was worth working for.

When I got to Presque Isle I had made it just in time for the sunset. By now I was pretty fatigued, so I propped my bike against a picnic table, removed my glasses and laid on the beach. Watching the sun sink below the horizon, I felt content with myself, and with nature. Throughout my journey I felt like a scale tipping and back and forth, but the farther I traveled the less I tipped, and when I laid on the tender sand I felt a sense of balance and equilibrium. From that point on I told myself I would make this a regular thing, because it felt incredibly refreshing. I biked approximately 26 miles that day. When the darkness began to settle I called for a ride home. I remember getting the best night’s sleep I ever had. I was essentially a snoozing rock. Three days later I repeated the routine. For anyone interested in biking, I encourage you to get into it because there are so many small things that go unnoticed when you drive.