It’s the last day of Freewheelin at the RNC. Morning sunlight is just beginning to shimmer on the ripples in the fountain of Government Plaza and the first curious wonderers who haven’t tried Freewheelin are passing through our tent. They move like curious children at first—-peeking from behind the pant legs of their doubts, unsure if their money will be taken, skeptical of our motives. Some of them ask us why we’re here, whether our drive is profits and if we really care about biking at all. All of us are ready to answer these questions. Not because we’re prepared with scripted responses or the language of the corporate soap box, but because we know the rush of freedom a two wheeler gives us. We’ve lived and breathed the daily exhilaration possible only from motion not bound by our own two feet.
It’s beautiful in Minneapolis this morning. The sky is shifting from midnight black to a vast, cloudless slate of blue in slow, unnoticeable gradients. The sun floats up to its zenith and encourages a breeze that whips at our faces; cool, not icy, like cream or tapioca. It’s a self-sustaining pudding wind. Riding through the streets in this weather, past parks and rivers, up hills and paths, you really get a sense of your body’s inner function. Your heart beats as you pump; your breathing fills your ears. You’re aware of every nerve and sinew, every bead of sweat forming in pores on your back, and every vessel dilating as your legs scream in protest. When you really push it, you become conscious of each molecule of oxygen filtered through each cell in your blood.
The Freewheelin Ideal is bigger than the betterment of our environment or the improvement of our health. It’s about understanding how human beings have the power to change the world, starting with the way we understand our world. Once we know ourselves we look at the planet through unclouded eyes and recognize the beauty of nature in each blade of grass we've trampled and each budding seed we've passed. We appreciate the distances we cover and the magnificent wonder inherent in that space.
You think all of this understanding can’t come from a bike ride. And you’re right. All of this understanding comes from having an open mind. A free mind. The bike is just a vehicle for you to explore the space around you and experience it with liberated perception. We want to give you a way to feel that breeze on your face and appreciate the fact that you made your body move fast enough to enjoy it.
The sun will soon set on the last Freewheelin tent this Convention will ever see. Why not join us for a ride?