Though I ride during the week every morning to synagogue, I had never done it to go there for Shabbat. This past Friday all was ready at the house with some time to spare (!) so I decided to do it, ride the bike to shul for Shabbat; I’d ride there, leave the bike, leave the bike in the building during Shabbat, then ride home Saturday night.
Wow, what a great experience. I normally rush to prayers, get there *just* in time, which isn’t really conducive to proper kavanah, the proper mindset for prayers, let alone for Shabbat prayers. But this time, as I rode there, I had the chance to be connected with the world around me, to see the sun setting, to notice night slowly approaching, to feel the wind on my skin. It took time to get there–not a lot longer than by car, but enough–and that gave me the time to ease into the Shabbat mindset.
Riding back from shul Saturday night I got wet as there was a light rain falling. I donned my poncho, turned on my front and back lights, and rode home getting a bit wet, yes, but enjoying the chance to ease back into the regular week as well.
I will try to do this as much as possible from now on. It truly made my Shabbat more special than anything else has in a while.