Reasons (Excuses)

If you’ve been to my place, you’ve seen my bike hanging all too low from the hooks. It’s been hanging there for over two months, with my last ride coming prior to my trip to Burbank. I have a litany of excuses, some more valid than others, but overall, they are just that. I am a creature of habit, so it’s not that surprising. And it’s not like I’ve just been sitting around for a couple months, as I’ve been trying to challenge myself to be more of a runner since that’s a much easier thing to do when I travel. But again, it’s all just rationalization.

Granted, time is finite, and winter riding, even when it’s a weak winter like last year, is not the most enjoyable activity. Between random patches of ice, wicked breezes, and near-constant efforts to figure out how to keep every part of your body warm while not getting too hot, it’s quite a chore. I spend probably an hour of my day putting on and taking off clothes. I have to get up earlier. But there is that rewarding feeling of doing something, even when it is not easy. I’ve been missing that recently.

I also feel I am doing a poor job of living up to my reputation as a bike commuter. But as it is most of time, it is just making the decision and making it stick. And I haven’t done that yet. Every weekend, I look at the weather, and I keep thinking, okay, this Monday. And yet, I don’t. Whether it’s snow or sickness or just the general lassitude of winter, I keep telling myself no, not this week. Of course, I could do it other days, or at least just take advantage of the relatively nicer days as they crop up. All true.

But it’s like everything in life. You just gotta do it or not, and be okay with whatever you decide. Right now, I am still not there when it comes to getting back on the bike. And I’m okay with saying to myself and others that I am just not right now. Most will nod and understand, given that they wouldn’t do it on a perfect day as it is. A few will understand because they are out there in those conditions for short rides. And a few will scoff because they don’t stop for anything. There’s truth in all of them, of course. That’s always kind of vexing, that so many things can be true at the same time. But I am a lot of things. I am a bike commuter as much as I’m a certified fraud examiner. Or a concert aficionado. Or a binge TV watcher. Or quite plugged in here in the Twin Cities. Or an occasionally on-point blogger who thinks she’s got something worth sharing. And a lot more things. And all of those things, all of those aspects are competing. So yes, right now, I am just doing what’s easy, at least in regard to the biking. But one of those other aspects surely has filled that space. It certainly makes the late-night weekday concerts a bit easier. But mostly, I am a creature of habit. And while they shift, I am in them strong when I am in them. One small change (like say, a warm week) and all of a sudden I am back getting up before 6 and on the bike. And then the habits shift a little to accommodate.

Monday isn’t exactly looking like a day I am ready for, with more snow and more that just makes me want to take the easy way in. And I will get in the car, I imagine. But perhaps I’ll make some decisions next fall that prepare me to ride through the winter. I’ll get some better gear, and a better bike (or at least better tires) for it. Who knows? That is quite a ways away. Though let’s be honest, if you don’t mind having gear that isn’t the newest, going out of winter is the best time to prepare for the next one. Perhaps I am not all that forward-thinking, even when I try to be. In the meantime, I can just be honest and say I haven’t done a great job of riding this winter. The reasons don’t really matter. I’ll get back on and it’ll be all good. There’s no sense in setting myself up for failure by trying to force myself to ride in a snowstorm when I am not ready for that. Reasons and excuses are quite often interchangeable, depending on how you feel about the subject. In this case, they’re both. There will always be more of either. And once I am back on the bike, those reasons and excuses will shift, perhaps to keeping me in when there’s a band to go check out. They are always there. You just have to be okay with that.

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