These are some pictures from my bike commute – in March of 2018. I called it the ‘Viewers Choice Commute’ because I’d posted up the night before and asked my 7-ish Instagram followers to vote on which bike/route I should take. I don’t remember how cold it was that day, but it was a good @winterbiketoworkday – Last night, when I got out of hockey at midnight, it was snowing pretty good – I was surprised at how much had come down and I was still on the fence if I was going to ride today. It was cold so the snow was nice and light – super fluffy like powdered sugar. I knew today was likely to be a great day to be outside – especially on the ride home – as the call was for crystal clear skies and full sun. No doubt would have made for great scenery.
I was still waffling though. I was tired. I didn’t want to risk getting sick – but still having the internal argument (which seems really silly now in retrospect). I checked my Instagram feed before bed. I’ll credit my wise Aunt @lindambourne for bringing it home with her sage comment on my Instagram post, “Seems to me you celebrate this day more than once a year already.” Bam. There it was. Truth. The reminder I needed. The reminder to get out and get some whenever you can, but that those moments aren’t necessarily going to align perfectly with the rest of the Universe. What’s important is that you observe them when possible.
Props to anyone who did ride today, whether in the freezing cold or balmy climes. You are a singular badass. And if you can’t make it tomorrow for some reason or another, you’ll still be a singular badass. I award you each 1,000 Internet Bike Points. They say discretion is the better part of valor – which is my fancy way of of saying ‘it’s old and I’m cold’. I opted out today and am totally at peace with it, thanks Auntie Linda. And thanks to others who offered thoughts and words of encouragement as well.
Tune in to Neurotic Cyclists of Instagram next week when I try to decide if I mount my paniers on the front or the back of the bike and discuss the pros and cons of each in Part 1 of a 6 part series.
Indecision is a funny thing. In my case, once it sets in, it doesn’t leave me alone. Tomorrow is @winterbiketoworkday. I really want to participate, but like so many things worth doing, it’s hard. I’ve got hockey tonight so I won’t get home until midnight – in bed until 12:30. Riding to work tomorrow – really doing it right and riding the WHOLE way on the snow – means getting up and out early. Probably 4:30 or 5 or so. It will be dark then. Weather says temps will be around -15C with the windchill to the -20’s. Then there’s the trail conditions. Probably pretty soft right now (as I write this it’s only 0C) but maybe they’ll freeze and firm up overnight – but if they don’t, likely some walking will be involved.
What’s the point? Seems foolish sometimes to ponder doing these things. Subjecting one’s self to the cold and the effort for a 15k bike ride. Then I think about people who are going to ride 1000km across Alaska in far worse – and I’M hesitating to go out for 15k? I could not do it at all. I could do it part way – drive half the distance to where the trail becomes paved – and plowed – and ride from there. That almost seems more chickenshit than not going at all. I tend to be an ‘all or nothing’ kind of guy. To a fault. I have problems with moderation – with doing things ‘halfway’. Maybe I should work on that. Or maybe I shouldn’t.
Maybe I should just do it. Maybe the problem is I feel like there has to be some ‘reason’ to do it. Some justification for the lunacy it represents. I’m looking for the ‘why’. I don’t know if there is a ‘why’. Maybe I have to get out there to find it. Or maybe it doesn’t exist. So for the rest of the day I’ll be tormented by the question – go or no go – and surrounding all that is the constant buzz of do I wear this or wear that? Do I bring X? Will that be warm enough? Too much? Should I put myself into sleep deficit for a bike ride to work simply because someone somewhere declared it the day to do so? Where are my gloves anyway? Not those – the WARM ones? The answers to all of these questions don’t matter at all. I will either go or not go and that will be that.
Great mail day! Got my @planet_bike Super Commuter swag! A frame pump and a Super Fred Brass Bell for the Disc Trucker, a Lunch Box stem/frame bag, 2 pairs of socks, some grippy bar tape and Jereme at Planet Bike threw in one of their brand new Rojo 100 blinky lights too as a bonus! Thanks again to @ge_willi for the nod and to Jereme and the Planet Bike crew!