Sunday, January 15, 2012

Stick Bugs and Doorways

Friday morning, I took the dogs out as usual, and came back home. Upon arriving at the door, I found a surprise guest:

Stick bug of some kind ... hung out at our front door for 3 days!
He's approximately 6 inches long ... and if he wasn't sitting on the porch step, I would never have seen him! It's amazing to me how many unique creatures are living all around me that I've never seen before. I watched him for a little while, but then had to get on with the day's task list, starting with breakfast preparation for the dogs, and coffee and breakfast for myself and my better and more attractive half (BAMAH?) ... followed by BAMAH lunch prep ... then getting myself organized for the day ahead.

Of course I wanted to get a good ride in before settling in to work, since the weekend often substitutes a long walk around the town with BAMAH, along with grocery and other shopping runs. It seemed to take forever to get to it, though. Before I knew it, half the day was gone, and I was still working on getting out for that ride.

It isn't the riding that I sometimes lack the motivation for. I always enjoy it, and I can always feel how nice it will be outside on the bike. Where my motivation gets lazy is just getting out the door. Some days it takes longer to actually get out the door than my entire ride. I have these stupid conversations with myself that go something like this:

"Okay ... I think it's time to get out for my ride. What's the weather like? It looks sunny, but the computer says it's only 50 degrees right now. Isn't it supposed to get warm today, though? Yep, the forecast says 70's. But should I dress warm now, since it's chilly or will I be too hot once I get riding? Maybe I can wear a second layer to take off if I get hot. What shoes should I wear today? I really want to wear sandals, but I have a feeling  my toes will get cold. Geez, what a baby ... I can just put thicker socks on. Should I take the camera or just go? Didn't you make a deal with yourself to ALWAYS take the camera so you don't miss great photos? Oh, yeah ... guess I should take it. Will I need the tripod, though, in case there's a video I can capture? Hmm ... nah, there will be a rock or something to set it on. Should I bring coffee or water?" 

See how it gets? I know ... worse than a teenage girl (no offense to teenage girls everywhere). In the end, I get just frustrated enough to throw my hands up, grab whatever is in front of me, and run out the door before I change my mind about something.

Granted, most days are not like that ... I've set up my bikes and clothing selection such that I can pretty much ride in whatever I'm wearing, so all I have to do is grab a helmet and sunglasses, put the camera bag on the bike, and go. And for the most part, that's what I do, leaving the chain cleaning and tire pumping for after the ride to be ready for the next one. Actually these days, the tires only seem to need air once every ten days or so. Big fat Schwalbe tires and tubes are great in that way. Their claim of better air retention in their tubes is really true. But that's another post ...

As for Friday, once I got out the door, it turned out to be a great day ... sunny and warm, but not hot yet ... and clear blue skies ... with nice blue ocean water and good waves to watch. For all the effort that went into leaving the house, I was rewarded with views like this:

The water and sky have been bluer than usual lately ... with nice fun waves

As the water hits the beach, the competing waves create some interesting swirls

I always love how the sun reflects on the water ... difficult to capture, though

Funqapillar loves the beach!
I guess in the end, there will always be those days when it's tough to get out the door. Fortunately, it always seems that when I push myself out on those days, there will be something to see that makes it all worthwhile ... like the reflection of the sun on the ocean that's beyond words, or thinking about how a creature like a stick bug came to be. That's the most rewarding part of riding a bike to me ... the time I spend riding clears my head of the day-to-day clutter, and fills it with new images and memories that serve to inspire me when I get back to the office and begin my work. It can be difficult to be creative all the time, even when my work demands it ... but an hour or so out in the sun and nature works wonders to restore my imagination!

More soon ... get out there and find something new to see!

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