heart-583895_640“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.”  ~ Helen Keller ~

Think of this quote and the person who wrote it.  She never saw the sunshine or the shadow with her eyes. She never saw a smile or a frown. She never heard a happy song or a lament. She only had three senses. Everything had to be perceived through her skin, nose or mouth and yet she is telling us about a purely visual concept in a way few others have been able to so succinctly.

We have abilities Helen Keller did not have. As I have mentioned many times before, I am a bicycle rider and average about 1500 miles a year on a bike.  It has been 27 years since I have crashed on the road.  I wish the same could be said for off-road.  The road is predictable most of the time.  The biggest challenge is what are the car drivers going to do and can they see me and respect that I deserve to be there?

Most of the time a bike rider is looking forward at where they are going and what is there to hinder them so they can steer past it.  At the same time, they need to be looking at what is overtaking them so many of us wear a mirror on our glasses or helmet.  Those that don’t wear a mirror get very good at looking over their shoulder.  Bike racers are not allowed to wear mirrors and are very practiced at this.

Those of us who do substantial road miles like to put a light on the back of our helmet or bike so cars overtaking us can see us better.  Mine has five bright LEDs flashing from the back of my seat post.  Before that, I wore a light on the back of my left shoe so it moved up and down as I peddled.

My point here is to look at the sunshine, where you are going, but keep an eye on what is coming at you from where you cannot see, the shadows. Send your own light into the shadows and help those that dwell there. See the world around you, there is nothing obstructing the view of a bike rider, but concentrate your efforts on your goal, get that bicycle safely down the road.  There is beauty, adventure and fitness in the ride of life, but only if you are not blind and deaf to it.  If Helen Keller can see the light, so can you.

Mike Ferrier

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