Tuesday, May 4, 2010

You Don't Need A Reason ...But Sometimes It Helps

Yesterday was a long day ... an EXTRA long day.  So long, in fact, that the 9pm closing time at Trader Joe's was passed up before the shopping trip could even start.  What to do, what to do ... well, we ended up going out for dinner at 9:30, rather than start making dinner at such a late hour.  The fish tacos and two beers were a welcome addition to my then empty stomach, but as is generally the result, I awoke this morning feeling sluggish, as well as somewhat stiff from a combination of aging body and extra muscle use from yesterday's activity.

Being National Bike Month and all, I made it my goal to spend some time with a bike every day ... not necessarily a major long ride or anything ... not necessarily even a ride ... it could be cleaning and performing routine maintenance ... or installing the new kickstand I mentioned in yesterday's post.  So far, so good ... until this morning.  As I mentioned, I was already feeling sluggish from late dinner and beer, and a little old and stiff from a long day.  After getting up and making coffee, taking the dogs out for the morning walk, feeding them, making breakfast and lunch for my better half, and getting her off to her day at the office, I was just not feeling like getting out for a ride.  It was one of those mornings when a good reason was required to push me over the edge and get me out the door and on the bike.

Then I remembered that I needed to go and get a few things from the grocery store.  At first, it wasn't an attractive thought, but I realized my bags were already on the bike, tires full of air, chain freshly lubed, and all I had to do was put my shoes on and head out.  And still, it was one of those mornings that made even doing that seem like a chore ... but I thought "Hey ... it's Bike Month ... and you need groceries ... it's just a short ride ... you'll accomplish something ... and you'll feel better".  So I put on my shoes and I went out the door.

I was right in what I told myself.  As soon as the garage door opened and I felt the sun, I felt better.  When I got on the bike and started rolling down the street, I felt even better.  When I got to the first stoplight, I felt even better still.  When I arrived at the grocery store parking lot, locked up my bike, grabbed my bags and noticed how nice my Surly LHT looks in the sun, I felt way better.  When I found some really-good-and-not-over-ripe avocados, I felt way-way better.  When I got to teach the bagger how he should try to balance the two bags by putting one carton of Silk Milk in each, rather than loading everything into only one bag, I felt like I imparted some valuable wisdom to a person younger than myself (although he simply gave me a blank stare as I took over and packed my own panniers).  When I secured my panniers to my bike, packed with just-purchased groceries, I felt great, knowing that I can shop by bike and save the entire planet single-handedly by not driving a car.  And when I rolled home on a fully-loaded beautiful blue touring bike, I felt humble and very grateful for all the nice things I have.  As I wheeled into the garage and unpacked my haul, I remembered how I didn't feel like going for a ride earlier ... and made myself a promise that whenever I find it difficult to get out the door, I'll remember how good today's short ride was and how great it felt both during and after.

Riding a bike doesn't require a reason ... but sometimes having one will get you out the door ... where you'll discover (again and again) why you love riding in the first place.  Funny how that works, huh?  Find a reason ... or none at all ... and get out there today!

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