Stories

Uncle Freddie and the Wind

February 11, 2020

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Uncle Freddie and the Wind

“I took my hands off the handlebars, breathed deeply, and cast all my cares to the wind.”

Victor Smith

The scent of freshly baked chocolate cake filled the house. Mother was having friends over for a morning meeting.

I snatched a muffin from the tray and took a bite – bliss! – and headed straight for the water dispenser to fill my bottle. I was going on a ride.

Cycling had made its way into my weekend routine over the last two years since breaking up with Brenda. We had a rocky relationship, but unlike any other, I wanted it to work.

Everyone told me she was a good girl, so I thought maybe I was the problem. I cried for days. Every effort to move on seemed like a waste.

Then, Uncle Freddie came to my rescue. He’d represented our country in cycling when he was twenty and told me that it wasn’t just another activity; it was a breather.

Every time he hit a roadblock in life, he went riding to clear his mind and receive the strength to move past it. “Cycling puts your problems where the winds can take ’em away,” he’d say.

His advice seemed baseless at the time, but then I tasted the lesson.

Releasing Tension With the Wind

I’d just lost my fifth consecutive bid.

And with 2019 closing in, it didn’t seem like I’d meet my financial targets for the year. Any freelancer on the planet understands the frustration.

I needed a breather. I threw my water bottle into my knapsack and grabbed my leather jacket from the sofa.

“I’m going out for a while. I’ll be back soon. By the way, your muffins taste great as always,” I said to my mother, who was on the phone with one of her expected guests.

She waved and continued with her call.

I walked out the back door and into the garage where my bicycle waited. I didn’t know much about aerodynamics when Uncle Freddie took me to buy it two years ago.

The bike’s frame was black, with white decorative details and a grey seat, which resonated with my feelings at the time. I also bought a helmet that perfectly synced with the color theme.

I unhooked my bike, rode it out of the garage, and entered the streets. The weather was perfect – warm enough that I didn’t need heavy clothes, but cool enough that I didn’t sweat and drain my energy quickly, perfect for getting outside.

I could feel the wind around me, gaining momentum, caressing my face and legs as my cadence rose. Without a course in mind, I rode on the wind’s wings and felt my tension dissipate.

I took my hands off the handlebars, breathed deeply, and cast all my cares to the wind.

Cycling is my therapy and my strength.

Victor Smith is a freelance writer from Toronto, Canada. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University and specializes in a wide range of topics, including technology, finance, nutrition, health, and lifestyle.
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