“If you had a religion, it would be the bicycle,” my soon-to-be roommate said to me with a chuckle. Though I didn’t grab on to the idea at first, in time I saw he was right.

Blog Image emily 1 - Finding Sangha in the Saddle

For me, the bicycle was a means of adventure, freedom, and empowerment from the start. Yet I somehow never made the spiritual connection between my head and my handlebars as my daily rides anchored my body and mind to the rhythm of swift pedal strokes.   

In the days that followed my friend’s insight I started seeing bike paths as sacred spaces filled with devout practitioners. While I prefered to ride through my thoughts alone, I was always surrounded. Looking up into the faces of riders coming in the other direction I found every emotion imaginable–a testament both to our diversity and our shared humanity, unshielded by the confines and convenience of a car.

Blog Image emily 2 - Finding Sangha in the Saddle

That summer my relationship with my bike changed. Once a solitary realizer I began to lean in to the bustle I previously found distracting. I went on group rides, took a job in the bike industry, and connected with people who shared my passion. As my love for the cyclists around me grew, so did my love for my own set of wheels.

Blog Image emily 3 - Finding Sangha in the Saddle

Riding alone challenged me. But riding with friends changed me. With the support of others I tested my limits. I became braver, more confident, and somehow more free than I had ever been before. Now a member of a tight-knit racing team in a city pulsing with riders, I can hardly make it to work without sharing an unexpected moment with a friend.

Blog Image emily 4 - Finding Sangha in the Saddle

Between victories and crashes the community extracts from me a vision of myself I wouldn’t have dreamed on my own. With their support I find myself open to the shifting nature of our reality, better equipped to succeed and more resilient when I don’t. Sometimes others belief in me is all I need. Trusting their faith so I can find my own.          


Emily wore the Bike Mandala Crew T-shirt

ajax loader 2x - Finding Sangha in the Saddle

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *