The Aimless Bike Ride


We live in a society that values productivity and achieving goals.  Work hard, play hard. Worthy attainments, yes. But sometimes overrated in my opinion.

My idea of a full and productive life includes ample amounts of unplanned time. This free time allows me to be spontaneous in joining friends at the last minute for an activity, or it’s a time to chill, or it can be used to wander and wonder.

I frequently opt to wander and wonder. These aimless rambles are on foot or by bike, and are often in my neighborhood or an easy bus ride away. They typically involve exploring streets, paths and alleys in search of the interesting, unusual, odd or beautiful gem. And they always include a pause to take in my surroundings, reflect, and wonder.

I went on an aimless bike ride on Sunday, rolling down the hill to a waterfront park. To my surprise, it was low tide–reason enough to pause, sit, and take in the Puget Sound views.

Bike traffic buttonBack in the saddle, I meandered through neighborhoods, climbing a big hill then pausing to get my breath. I continued following residential streets, turning this way and that, until I found myself in White Center. In a few blocks I came upon a newly built segment of a West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway, complete with this awesome crosswalk button next to the curb–perfect for bicyclists!

My aimless bike ride continued in a northerly direction and before long I found myself at South Seattle College. I pedaled across the quiet campus and followed signs to the Seattle Chinese Garden.

Seattle Chinese GardenDitching the bike, I entered the courtyard and checked out the koi pond. A graveled path led me through a stand of bamboo and ornate tall grasses to a covered sitting area. Naturally, I paused here and listened to the wind gently blow through the bamboo. I spotted several homes adjacent to the gardens and imagined how pleasant it would be to view this garden from my windows.

The Chinese Garden is a work in progress. There’s a lot of open space and plans call for the construction of a pagoda-like tower that will offer views of the harbor and downtown Seattle. I made a mental note to myself to follow their build out progress and to also plan a return visit to the garden in a different season.

It was time to head home and bring this aimless bike ride to an end. But what a nice aimless afternoon it had been! Today’s aimless wandering had been filled with small discoveries. From low tide to neighborhood greenway to the Seattle Chinese Garden, each find had been a welcome surprise. It also included physical activity–another benefit of wandering.

Did you enjoy this neighborhood ramble? Check out my neighborhood walk and this Pioneer Square alley exploration.

Now it’s your turn. Please share one of your aimless wanderings!


11 thoughts on “The Aimless Bike Ride

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  1. Hi, Louise. Yes, I did enjoy this neighborhood ramble and I also liked the walk you shared. The boys and I went for some aimless wandering by bike yesterday, too. We rode down to Seward Park for a picnic (and catnapping in the shade) on Bailey Peninsula and then threaded our way to home (Madison Valley) through various neighborhoods. We stopped at a handful of parks and community gardens and made liberal use of a neighborhood greenway as we got into the busier, hairier parts of town. It was a consuming day of riding for my eight year old but he loves exploring different parts of the city as much as I do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing your meandering. I think you captured the joy of wandering too. I am glad to hear about the Chinese gardens. I visit Seattle from time to time because my step-daughter and a nephew live there and I have family on Whidbey as well. I have never heard of this garden so I will definitely check it out next visit. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally enjoyed this and I agree with you- structured is over-rated! I have learned to be wander and explore since we moved / retired to the Japanese countryside over 5 years ago. It’s freeing and healing to let go of this thinking that we always have to be accomplishing a goal of some sort. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This says it all:
    “My idea of a full and productive life includes ample amounts of unplanned time. This free time allows me to be spontaneous in joining friends at the last minute for an activity, or it’s a time to chill, or it can be used to wander and wonder.”
    I couldn’t agree more. Excellent!

    Liked by 1 person

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