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March 24, 2021
As a go-to destination for creatives and cyclists, there is an undeniable and often unspoken association between the artistic process and the cycling mindset. If you happen to share a passion for both art and cycling, you have undoubtedly noticed the similarities and associated feelings that crossover.
While bicycles and art denote diversely different things depending on the experience and mindset of the participant, they both tap into what seems to be universal feelings of escapism, flow, individualism, mindfulness, and the ability to appreciate the beauty in the world around us.
No matter the activity, healthy escapism can be enormously rewarding. One of the many reasons that cycling and art facilitate a release from the obligation-related stress of contemporary life is because they both require a degree of responsibility and steady self-control. The process of creation and cycling allows you to entirely control your space and mind in time. Whether it be one-on-one with a canvas or the open road, every decision both physical and mental can bring a sense of individual clarity.
Taking time to step back and view a complete picture helps reframe reality that may otherwise feel cloudy or overly influenced by others. There is tremendous value in discovering and entering areas of life that offer a momentary release from reality. Finding opportunities to clarify your perspective in creating distance from the mundane helps you better understand yourself and the world around you. So, in reality, because escapes define our lifestyle, do your best to keep them rewarding, so they remain as that — escapes.
One of the most common byproducts of a pleasurable activity or hobby is that demands a degree of responsibility that initiates a flow-like state of mind. You’ve likely experienced this state of ecstasy when time stops and your body and mind become totally absorbed and deeply focused on what you're doing. Slowed time, heightened senses, and effortless momentum helps you enter and stay in ‘the zone'.
A heightened ability to paint, draw or sculpt freely and without limitation taps into the same capacity cyclists possess to effortlessly flow through downhill sections relying on instinctual movements and momentum to excel. While artists and cyclists admirably embody this idea of immersive engagement, the flow state is a universally accessible mindset no matter the creative pursuit or physical task.
When you are consciously able to flow in and out of a state of escapism you begin to become more mindfully aware of the difference that can make in your routine and levels of fulfillment. By definition, Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of yourself, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around you.
Even though mindfulness is universally available, it’s often more readily accessible with practice. Cycling and Art are both essential activities that demand a mindset to create and test your limitations. Physically and mentally, this level of mindfulness demands meditative awareness that helps you analyze the workings of your mind like physical sensations, emotions, and thoughts outside yourself. Simply setting aside the time to observe and live in the present moment through activities like cycling and art do wonders for physical and mental levels of satisfaction. The positive impact escaping from digital distractions like social media can have on your day is unmatched.
While riding a bike and painting are common and accepted pastimes, they are both unique in the space they grant for individuality and style. Choice of material, paint, and colors facilitate a personal connection and personality of work the same way a cycling kit, gear, and style of riding shape an individual's cycling persona. Individualism or the ability to distinguish yourself from others is an important part of finding healthy outlets. Expressing emotion and building your personality around things you genuinely enjoy can bring immense satisfaction and fulfillment.
Learning to appreciate the small things and the beauty in the world around us often come with simple, yet meaningful activities that help you feel connected to something bigger. There is something undeniably magical about riding home as the sun fades below the mountains, illuminating a pink and orange cotton candy sky as a warm breeze washes over your face and handlebars. It’s much easier to appreciate life in these surreal moments of flow and ecstasy. Art and cycling enhance your ability to capture these moments and use them as a motivating source of inspiration in life.
At Thread + Spoke, our mission is to combine the world of cycling and art, bringing one-of-a-kind cycling apparel to those who share the same passion. The apparel featured on Thread + Spoke is designed by independent artists from around the globe. Anyone can submit their artwork to be considered for a feature on Thread + Spoke. Visit our Creators page for submissions or shop a variety of themed custom cycling apparel collections and art today.
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Road bikes and gravel bikes are two popular types of bicycles that are designed for different purposes. Road bikes are specifically designed for speed and efficiency on the tarmac, while gravel bikes are built for versatility and durability on unpaved roads and mixed terrain. In this article, we will compare and contrast road bikes and gravel bikes to help you decide which one is right for you.