Rainy Bike-Riding Epiphany

Today, I had an epiphany.

It was drizzling this morning and our group had organized a bicycling trip along the Hsintien river which rides to the northern Danshui part of Taipei.

Hence, rain = cancellation of event

Who would want to ride bicycles while it’s pouring? No way. Wearing those yellow plastic raincoats are uncomfortable and unsexy. I’d rather just do it in the rain and wet myself.

Anyway, back to the epiphany before I digress too much.

My friend CW had worked hard on this event and all of a sudden, it just rains right smack on the day his first project is finally coming to fruitation.

Hence, my epiphany, which am sure you’ve all been waiting to hear after listening to me babble about the rain.

I honestly think that life doesn’t implore us to be perfect.

Our entire lives, everyone including our parents and society demand that we be perfect — we have to do the right things, say the right words and behave the right way. If you can be perfect, then you are deemed a success and your parents crow your achievements to everybody they know (as most Chinese parents are).

But for me, what defines success is not really how perfect we make our lives to be.

Just like today, sometimes, when you least expect it… even with the best laid-plans, sh*t happens. Rain pours, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

Therefore, I think life doesn’t really demand us to be perfect. Successful people aren’t those who do things right all the time… everybody makes mistakes and sometimes, things don’t really go as planned. Heck, you should imagine how much curveballs life throws at us.

People who I personally call to be successful aren’t those who do things right — they’re those who are still hit hard by curveballs and fall… but who know and have the guts/willpower/courage to stand right back up. Yes, they screw up and they bawl like babies. They cry and they think of suicide. They almost… almost give up.

But no… after bumbling through life, they still get up. Sh*t happens, but they DEAL WITH IT. The results may not be as “perfect” as parents intended, but I honestly don’t think that life intends for us to be perfect (which reminds me of the movie, American Beauty… even in the most perfect of lives, nothing is perfect).

It intends us to be human.

And being human means being able to adapt, even when it rains.

This is my epiphany — deep or no, you decide.

And to add a side note to this, sometimes, when you think your life is going to the pits, a ray of hope shines through.

As with today, when we thought that we would have to cancel or think of plan B, the rain suddenly stops and changes to the most perfect weather for bike riding.

God must really love you,” I texted CW. “The rain stopped.

And the weather was indeed perfect — it was cold but not too cold, not too hot for a ride along the Hsintien river. I had a light jacket on and didn’t need anything else.

We rode along the Huazhong Riverside Park, starting from the TiHua street area where there was a wharf you can rent bikes from:

There were around 15 of us and here we are, just starting on our adventure:

Such a huge group, yeah? Always glad to see people who like the outdoors as much as I do.

As you can see in the background, the foggy yet still beautiful landscape. The air was relatively fresh and the wind blowing on your face was simply terrific.

Here I am trying so hard to ride a bike straight:

As you can see, this amateur bike rider chose one with a granny basket — not really embarrassing since I’ve ridden the number of times I’ve ridden a bike is limited to a single hand. You see, my house was on top of a hill and down the hill stands a big-ass gate. Truly a bike hazard and I lost a tooth once when I slammed hard on a 2-feet bike with training wheels when I was young (didn’t brake in time).

So no, without embarrassment, I admit it — I can’t ride a bike well. Heck, it was surprising that I still managed to finish the entire route without being seriously injured (yes, I fell once).

Sure, I managed to scream at almost every biker who tried to overtake me and scare me to death in both English and Chinese, but the point is, I survived unscathed and that’s the most important thing.

Of course, no event is complete with some stopping, playing on the rocks and taking some pictures. Here we are almost at the end of the race trying our hands in rock climbing:

Totally fun and the girls standing on top of the rocks took the liberty of taking some pictures of down below:
Here you can see quite clearly the quality of the bike paths and the lovely greenery that surrounds us.

It was indeed an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday, and needless to say, I would again be back. It was so relaxing after such a stressful week and the landscape beautiful — even more beautiful than riding along the Danshui/Bali river.

If you guys want to join along next time I go, just let me know.

But for today, it was indeed a slice of heaven. 🙂

It was just great.

So thanks CW for arranging the ride.

Sorry if I was slow, but it sure was fun to have the time to stop and just smell the roses. It’s been awhile since I truly, madly, deeply did that.

Savor life you guys and c’est la vie!

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