Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Happy Christmas Ride

We woke up on Christmas day to a brisk but beautiful sunny morning.  After weeks of morning fog and rain, which we really need, it was nice to see the sun so early in the day.  It felt like it was our Christmas present to be enjoyed by all. After a leisurely morning of drinking coffee and reading, I decided to take full advantage of this gift and headed out on the bike.

Riding on Christmas day has become a bit of tradition for me so there was no way I could pass up all this beautiful sunshine.  In fact, the sunshine seemed to add a bit of happiness to the ride and that quickly became a theme.  As I rode along, my mind was full of happy thoughts.  Perhaps that’s part of the Christmas magic.

I decided to head out of town along the path that follows the creek.  As I cruised along the path enjoying the day I wasn’t alone.  The path was full of couples, friends, and families who were also taking advantage of the beautiful day.  Trying to be courteous, I always gave a hearty “bike back” as I approached and replaced my usual greeting of “Good morning” with “Merry Christmas”.  In almost every case, I got a Merry Christmas in return.

As I continued to cruise along I saw a family up ahead.  When I got closer, I saw it was a cycling friend, Adrian, out with his wife and two sons.  For me, they seemed to be the embodiment of Christmas with the parents walking hand-in-hand as the children played on their new toys.

At least I hoped they were new.  One boy was on a scooter and the other on a bike.  I didn't look that closely but for some reason I just assumed they were presents out for a maiden voyage.  The thought of them coming down stairs and finding them under the tree made me very happy and I smiled as I thought about their squeals of delight.  

All of these happy thoughts continued after I left the path.  I passed houses with driveways filled to the brim with cars as family and friends gathered to celebrate the day.  I saw many other cars filled with presents as they traveled to be with their loved ones.  I also saw more than one truck loaded with mountain bikes and I was happy to know I wasn’t the only crazy cyclist out enjoying the magic of the day.

As I reached the town of Sebastopol, I was simultaneously hoping that one of the local coffee shops would be open while also wishing they would not.  I was happy that they were all closed to allow staff to enjoy the day although I would have been as giddy as a boy with a new bike if I could have found some espresso.  Still, it was fun cruising the calm city streets and testing my knowledge of coffee shop locations.

Finally, it was time to head back home.  I rolled through downtown Santa Rosa and enjoyed the quietness of the day compared to the shopping madness that occurred just 24 hours before.  This tranquility was bound to be broken the day after as people scampered to take advantage of post-Christmas sales.  But for now, all was peaceful and serene and that somehow felt right.

Yes, it was a happy ride full of happy thoughts.  Now, we just need to find a way to keep this happiness going year round.  That’s my Christmas wish for everyone.  To find a way to keep the joyous spirit of Christmas alive each and every day of the year!