Failure to Launch
Today’s “Blue Helmet Project” question: How did you motivate yourself in the beginning, before cycling was second nature? 1. On a continual basis (cycling posters on your wall, sleep with your helmet, etc.), and 2. When it’s really crappy outside, but still rideable.
I did not ride this weekend.
While my hardcore advisers were out braving the elements, I took one look at the trees bending over in my backyard and stayed in. The Saturday weather report confirmed my trepidation: winds 20-30 mph, gusting up to 38. My only excuse for Sunday was lack of ability to stand upright. I woke up at 4 am to cheer on The Fiance at a half marathon an hour north of town, and never made time for a nap. I arrived home late in the afternoon and found myself sitting on the couch – fully kitted up, helmet and all – staring blankly out at the waning hours of daylight. Perhaps one cylinder was firing, but it was not enough to mobilize my body.
I’m no stranger to cycling in imperfect conditions. I’ve found myself (and my road bike) turning onto a gravel road full of large, sharp rocks; going 9 mph in a raging headwind; and rolling over a newly-tarred road, the heat bringing bubbles of sticky, black goo to the surface to snap against my tires. I have rolled out at dawn in cold, mountain air, my fingers and nose biting with the pain of a thousand bee stings as I wheezed and slogged my way over a mountain pass. I have ridden on a highway shoulder scattered with glass shards, my own shoulder just inches away from a rearview mirror moving at 60 mph. (Hear me roar!)
While such annoyances (I hazard to call them “adversities”) make good stories and improve bike handling skills, I no longer must ride that way. But I also promise not to kick back and only ride when it’s sunny, 60 degrees and calm winds, even though south Texas winters boast many days like that.
So, c’mon people; shame me appropriately.