In praise of slow rides

Article and pictures by Aaron Prasad

Montu ambassador Aaron Prasad on the joys of cycling

Aaron’s Montu Kopis

I like to ride bikes.  

I ride for the exhilaration of feeling the wind on my face as I bomb down a hill and for the exhaustion my legs feel when climbing it.  Some days I ride because I want to escape life; some days I ride because doing so helps me feel as though I’m really living.  I ride to keep in top shape, and to delay the usually inevitable morph into a different shape when I eat too much and don’t ride enough.  

I ride because I secretly love the tan lines.

I love that my eyes become wider to take in the passing scenery as my heart rate climbs.  I love how I can be breathing in the scent of lilac bushes one minute, and the scent of cow manure the next.   

I love that I can get comfy in the drops, go full gas, and feel like I’m at warp speed on the road on my Montu Osiris (yes, that was a rare cycling/Star Trek reference). Other times, I rest comfortably on the tops and meander my way along a dusty gravel trail on my Montu Kopis.

The idea of taking the long way, or the slow way (the latter of which is typically my default) is one that fascinates me.  The things I see along the way, the experiences that find me, and the people I meet, usually bring a smile to my face.

And isn’t that what life is about?

On a recent ride I was delighted to find a surprise samosa stop at a random convenience store in a small town. They were great samosas.  A great samosa you weren’t expecting to find (especially passing through a small town like this) is the second-best type of samosa—the best type of samosa being the one you know is coming.

These are the moments that add joy to my days.  There is a simplicity, even a profundity, in enjoying the little things that come from, and during, an intentional movement practice like cycling.  I know people who experience these same things while on a hike, or a run, or something else—the joy of celebrating small victories or experiencing something new that you wouldn’t have if you weren’t going slow enough to notice.  I have driven by that same convenience store a dozen times before, for example, never noticing their samosa offerings.   

I find a  good ride is soothing for the soul, much in the same way that a tough ride can make the soul stronger.  

As an aside, for those out there who are vegan (or veg-forward) and fans of samosas, and Star Trek, and cycling, I hope you’ve enjoyed this little write-up.  For those of you who aren’t any of those things, I still hope you enjoyed reading, and I invite you to eat more plants.  Either way, and no matter who you consider yourself to be, I hope you engage in the beauty that is exploring the long way.  For your soul.  For your health.  For the tan lines.  

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