Landon Murray

Jul 222015

This article is part of our #BikeNOLABlog Series, where we invite individuals to bring their #BikeNOLA related content to post to the world!  All content and/or opinions in the #BikeNOLABlog series belong to the individual authors!

Sometimes you get pulled somewhere and you have no idea what to expect. We’ve all been there. You likely already know my thoughts because they may have been yours before. “This is going to be lame,” might be something you think of or even utter out loud. Another thought might also be “it’s just people riding bikes?”

Both of those went through my head between the days I said yes to my first social ride and eventually went to my first ride. I bring this up and mention it because sometimes you are dead wrong. In this instance of the NOLA Social ride, I was way way way wrong.

Over the course of the last year, many special friendships have come from this ride. I’ve even gotten some older friends to join me on rides. This year has seen some big events in my life. Some happy, some not, but all have left valuable impacts on my life. Among those, is without the doubt the joy of the Thursday night ride. For passerby’s and people watching on the streets its just a bunch of people biking and listening to loud music, possibly having some liquids to make it better, and of course lights. The ride is all of those things, but even though it may have started as that for me, it’s long since become my peace time, my time with my best friends, and of course, biking everywhere our leaders decide to take us.

The night begins with the meet up, which offers all the smiles and hugs you’d expect from long lost friends. In a way it’s accurate because I NEVER feel as free and powerful and happy as I do on Thursday nights when I’m biking. There’s something so blissful and joyful about screaming “HAPPY THURSDAY,” and while I can’t exactly describe why it’s so great, one thing is for sure: Seeing people smile as you bike past and throw those words right back at you is wonderful and grandiose. On our bikes, smiles are everywhere(even when it’s bitterly cold and people are wondering if they’ve actually gone insane).

From there we bike, and bike, and sometimes we stop to catch our breathes and refill drinks. It’s all in a night’s fun for “the bike people,” as someone I used to know referred to us as. And it’s great, for everyone involved. I know I love it, and can’t imagine not going every week. Once I had to miss two in a row. Let me tell you how much that sucked. I felt lost until I got on my bike again and rode with all these awesome people. It’s liberating in a way that few things are. It’s relaxing, happy in every way, and to me it embodies the spirit of what it’s like to call NOLA home. Some other cities have similar things, but this is our own, and it’s amazing to think that in fourteen months time I’ve gone from being unsure of what to expect to mostly only hanging out with people who I share the bike ride with. It’s one of the best things in my life, and I have no idea what I’d do if I couldn’t go on my “Happy Thursday” rides anymore! So without more writing, let’s “mount up” and ride!

This #BikeNOLABlog post was authored by Landon Murray