Here in Los Angeles we had amazing Thanksgiving Day weather and going out for a bike ride seemed like a great idea. Biking is something I have done since I was a child and have continued throughout adulthood in all types of weather. In fact, biking is so automatic for me that I usually daydream during the ride and most of my best thoughts come to me then.
Out of nowhere, this past Thanksgiving day, I started to bike the long straight stretches without having my hands on the handle bars. Biking with no hands. It brought back my childhood. The stages were: get a tricycle, then a two wheel bike with training wheels, get rid of the training wheels and ride solo then the ultimate was to be able to balance well enough to ride without hands. I felt exhilarated riding with no hands. What surprised me was it took my total focus and used different muscles to balance. I didn't daydream at all.
As I passed other cyclists, I noticed that some of them rode without their hands as well. Biking is one of the times that I feel free. Most people I see on bikes have a smile probably because it brings us back to a basic, playful time.
The final stretch back to my house was a narrow street in Venice that smelled like roasting turkey the entire block long. It felt comforting to picture so many of us enjoying the same meal on the same day. While it may have been in separate homes with different traditions, I felt connected to others and smiled.