Life happens (and then you get back in the saddle)
This was a tough blog post to write, as it’s really about not riding a bike. Sigh.
It’s funny how life happens. You can coast along for a while and then—BAM!—you face a lot of disruption and change in your life. I’ve just been through one of these phases, with some of the disruptions awful, some really fun and exciting, and some just a plain old hassle.
And somewhere in all this transition, I’ve managed to fall off my bike. Well, I did literally fall off once, but I mean more figuratively.
Ending my dry streak
I hopped on my road bike Sunday for only the second time in six months. I can’t recall having such a long dry streak before, and I’m not sure how it really happened. I mean, there were a number of factors: winter weather, roads in bad shape in Boulder, work was crazy busy, doing more hiking and running, and being a bit skittish following a bad crash around Thanksgiving.
But the more I heard myself, I realized that these all sounded more like excuses than factors or reasons. And I’ve never been super patient with folks who have lots of excuses for not riding a bike. So what happens when you find yourself being one of them?
You can kick yourself or move on
Well, I guess you can beat yourself up about it. Or you can just be quiet and hope that no one has noticed. Or you can try to learn from it and make positive changes.
So while I remain 100 percent human and fallible, I’m going to try for the third option. I did ride my Brompton on a couple of errands today, so I have now almost doubled the number of times I’ve ridden in the past six months. Yes, I’m kidding, but still, you have to start somewhere.
I live in Boulder, and the roads I like to ride are going to be a mess from the September floods for a while yet. But I can’t let that stop me from getting out and enjoying something that I love so much. So look for me on the roads. I’ll be the one cornering at about 2 MPH for a while—but I vow to get back in the saddle.
I’m reminded to be more understanding, too
And I’ve also been reminded to not be quick to judge. When you’re coasting, it’s hard to appreciate what others are facing or what personal challenges they may be coping with. Maybe some folks drive more than I think they “should,” but that doesn’t mean I should judge.
It means I should encourage. And be more understanding. And supportive. Because that’s what I’m hoping I’ll be receiving right now.
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- Dec 22, 2022
- by Bicycle Colorado
Amy – Don’t punish yourself for that, and don’t fret 2mph.
I skidded out and broke my hand riding in August of 2012, and this spring I’m finally “feeling” the road well enough that I’m cornering aggressively again. Let it go, and it will come back when you feel it. Just remember, a day on a bike is better than a day off, regardless of the distance, speed, or route.
And being off the bike for a while can make it that much harder to get back on. I too have not been riding nearly as much as I normally do, due to life, etc. And now, instead of being able to keep up with my club rides, I am way slower and not able to do the distances. And that makes it very discouraging to ride with the club, so I’m less likely to try, and that just extends my time off the bike, which means that I’m getting even more slower, and even further behind, so even more less likely to try, and on and on……
Tom Wertz -
Thank you for this article. Odd that I am just now reading it. I, too, have had an uncharacterstic dry spell over the winter (if winter can be expanded to include much of last fall and this spring). I was finally getting past that dry spell and was going to see how many days I could ride in a row when 5 days in I had a spill that damaged my rib cage (cracked/torn cartilage). What a buzz kill! I am almost 3 weeks into the healing process and I am SOOO itching to get back on my bike. But the reason this article resonated with me is because I’m really angry and depressed about the way things turned out. Besides the fact that the accident was my fault due to my stupidity, I am just angry that I was just getting back into a routine when I got the rug pulled out from under me. Life is unpredicatble. Oh, and as an aside, getting old sucks. 😉