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Life is a gift, and biking is one way I savor it

Bicyclists standing in front of Babe the Blue OxBiking was really a turning point in my life. I had already made changes to how I ate, eventually choosing a plant-based focus. In looking for an outdoor activity I could embrace, I remembered I loved biking as a kid, and told my husband Scott I’d like to give that a try.

So I bought a road bike, and I was hooked.

It’s really an all-season enjoyment. I appreciate spring riding, where I can almost see the grass grow and the flowers bloom. In the fall, the rivers are awesome, and in winter, you just bundle up and ride the fat bike through the snowy trails. Wildlife like deer and bunnies is another biking bonus; even the wolf Scott and I saw along an Isanti County road! We saw movement and assumed, at first, that it was a deer. We discovered it wasn’t when it ran across the road. Another sighting brought us too close for comfort to a badger. Knowing of their reputation as, well, a bit cranky, we kept our distance.

Biking, love it though I do, isn’t the only way I find peace and balance. I treasure time when I can sit at home with windows open hearing birds chirp, or relaxing in the yard–it’s pure meditation, really putting things in perspective. And reading is another peaceful pleasure–it doesn’t even matter what I’m reading.

Appreciating and enjoying everyday life as a gift brings me happiness, so whether it’s biking, spending time with Scott and friends, with our four adult kids who are scattered far and near (Germany, Afghanistan, Illinois and the Twin Cities), I don’t take it for granted, but am so thankful for it.

What does my Life@100% day look like? I start the day with a vegan smoothie Scott makes for us, we head out to our respective jobs, and on a good day we come home and even if I don’t feel like it some days, we ride our bikes, which makes me appreciate that I can afford one and have the ability to ride one.

A beloved sibling of mine is very ill, and not taking life for granted is very precious to me right now. Life is a gift. And experiencing loss, like I know so many of us have, is truly at the root of my appreciation.

Peggy Charpentier
North Branch, MN