The Odors of Bike Commuting

Yesterday as I pedaled home in the rain I noticed how the dampness in the air brought out aromas that aren't there when the landscape is dry. It smelled strongly of dirt in some places and hay in others. With all the snow recently, I think the earth thawed out and the rain brought out all those smells.

It got me thinking about all the different smells I smell on my commute. There's so much that characterizes each portion of my ride and I know them all so well. There are cow pastures that smell bovine and horse farms with the odor of the equine. There are neighborhoods on garbage pick-up day that cause you to breathe through your mouth. Summer brings the smell of fresh cut grass. Winter brings the smell of your balaclava when it's in desperate need of a wash. Rain often smells fresh, somehow, and it always makes me wonder why.

Yesterday as I pedaled home in the rain I thought about these things. I was really thankful that my time is spent learning and appreciating little things like smells on my bike. If I were in a car, I'd miss out. I'd be fighting the radio to seek shelter from Taylor Swift or Katy Perry. I'd smell fumes but I would otherwise be comfortable. Yet I would certainly be missing out on the world around me. It's funny how a smell can make you think.

Get out there.

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