Reasons Not To Kill Yourself Today, No. 15: Night Bike Rides

I don’t think I could ever live somewhere you can’t bike wildly home after bar hours, in the summertime, with a low probability of harm. Sorry, Manhattan. It’s just the thing that makes me feel most alone in the universe and in the best possible way. It’s a thing that makes my heart beat control-free. Like I’m racing all of time. Like so thrilled. Like… I’ve never felt this way in a taxicab even when the driver was going like I’d said “follow him!” and was also a member of the 1970s Italian mafia, which is something that happens in Manhattan, I’ll give you that.

I’ve careened westward home all wind-beneath-my-wheels what feels like a million times, and is probably more like 275. I’ve biked high as a goddamn Boeing and sober as my mom. I’ve biked while smoking, crying over dick-all, eating banana popsicles, listening to M83 at like Fucked Up volume, wearing heels most people couldn’t climb stairs in, doesn’t matter. At night, biking, I’ve always known nothing could hurt me. At the time of writing this—it is night, but I am not in fact biking—I know this to be a lie. But sshhh. Lies are all we have, etc.

The other night it was really truly finally summer and I left my friend’s house alone on my bike. Sped along the bar-studded edge of gentrification. Plucked from the multi-tangle of side roads a skein to follow home. Skidded into the park next to our building. And collapsed. And actually saw, no, looked up at the stars. Which frankly is a movie-style thing I haven’t done much since I was a kid who visited my grandparents in the country and wrote poems.

Then I laid there and laid there still, forgetting to be depressed.

So this is the closest thing to an actual reason not to kill yourself I’ve ever told anyone, I mean, I thiiiink? I don’t know. You should try it, though. Drink a little but not too much and say goodbye to people you like at a reasonable semi-adult hour and get on your bike and fly home over the city, under the cooling sky, and believe but like actually believe you’ll never have to stop. Then when you do stop just try, in that heart-stopped, helplessness-attenuated minute, and tell me there’s something life isn’t doing for you. TC mark

image – Tavis Ford


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  • lax

    i need to get my bike out. 

  • Guest

    I can’t deal with these fucking Seattle hills, bro.

  • HipsterKitty

    brb, going for a bike ride.

  • Alyssa Johnston

    I named my bicycle Lolita for just this occasion. Wait, uh…

  • Megan

    this was really nice

  • Lou

    that was a really nice article, and all i could think about was ET :)

  • Anonymous

    This is the reason I will get my first dui, and it will be on a bicycle.

  • Apdrew88

    I wouldn’t consider biking a real reason to not kill yourself although night rides are the tops

  • Greg

    This was some true writing, night biking can feel fucking exhilarating

    • FC

      Yes, yes it can.

  • Action Brovkin

    This post is pretty much my life.

    • Tereza Jarnikova


  • pauls

    Manhattan is the best place for night bike rides. I used to go for 4am rides up the West Side Highway bike path from Tribeca to Morningside Heights, I guarantee it’s great and safe

  • dwp

    More than anything I’ve ever read on TC, this is true. It’s just one of the most exhilarating feelings you can get from such a simple thing. 

  • Anonymous

  • Greg Petliski

    Hell yea. My Schwinn lowrider has working tail lights making night riding fun AND safe.

  • Emily

    ‘ Lies are all we have ‘ 

    So beautiful.

  • Ryan Lee

    this was great sarah, thanks.

    highly relatable.

  • Amanda

    I totally bike home at night after bars close in manhattan.  have you actually tried it?  I would argue it is actually more liberating than doing so anywhere else.

  • guest

    Hi, I thought you should be aware of this:

    You have a person, Benny Villegas, a student at the University of Georgia who has completely plagiarized your work. Of course if this was with your permission for him to use your article on his blog ignore this, but if not I would seek legal action against him. This is not his first time plagiarizing, and likely not the last either.

  • holmes

    i wanna have sex

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