The spokes of my bike wheels spin faster as I glide down the Charleston streets. The branches of the trees dangle down, inviting my eyes up to the sky while my mind still concentrates on the destination. It smells like ocean mist and fresh-cut grass as I wind down Legare street. As soon as I hit South Battery the view opens up to beautiful historic mansions, aged palm trees and a semi-panoramic view of the harbor. All worries flee my mind as I soak in the sights. I think to myself, “How am I so lucky to live in such a beautiful city?”
I turned to my bike at the beginning of the year for exercise, relaxation and an excuse explore the vast city that lies before me. Riding my bike has always been a sort of meditation. I hover above the ground, feeling freer and lighter — not to mention it’s a wonderful way to sightsee. The paths to new destinations, like the Battery, East Bay Street or the Vendue Range turn quickly into history lessons rather than just easy ways to get places.
On my way to the Battery one Thursday afternoon, I realized I traversed into South of Broad. This neighborhood was charming, prestigious, and calming. Traffic was uncommon and the few noises I heard came from the trickling of water in fountains of courtyards. Shortly through the ride, the thoughts of assessments and due dates dissolved from my mind. Once I hit the sight of the Charleston harbor, my mind did not disturb my calmness.
My next trip was to the Waterfront park where I decided to take a bit of the College with me. I took a seat at a bench overlooking the Harbor and admired the scene that lay before me. The water flowed in and out of the green marsh as the tides came and went, and the sound of a distant violin resonated through the air.
As a freshman at the College of Charleston, I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with meeting new people, getting used to a new living style and adjusting to college classes. Between all of this, I knew it was important to make time for myself. Even though I know fitting “me” into my schedule is an important part of maintaining my health and well-being, the first few weeks of the school-year showed me that it can be difficult to put this plan into action. As each day came, depending on how stressed I was, I made time for a bike ride. Biking around the city of Charleston has become a way for me to step inside of my new reality as a college student and appreciate all that is in the moment. By stroll, cycle, or ride, exploring the surroundings of Charleston and the College have already benefited me greatly and the journey has only just begun.