12 April 2010

some thoughts on #30daysofbiking.

I was thinking about this post and how it would be good for the end of the month, and then I was like no.  Victory narratives are good, but you guys already know I'm a champ.*  What we need around here is some process.  Nitty gritty process.  

I got on the Thirty Days of Biking train at the end of the worst week of cycling I had ever had.  I had been riding the folding bike for a month straight, I had witnessed an awful, head-mangling crash, and then I had to ride a bajillion miles over the course of several subsequent soakedawfulrainy days.  

Biking.  I was so over it.  

So Thirty Days of Biking came at a moment when I wanted little to do with bikes.  Literally, April 1st was a beautiful day and as I was headed out to a meeting, I was pumping up my folding bike tires, got impatient, jerked a valve and gave myself a flat.  So. over. it.  

Later in the day I found out about Thirty Days of Biking, and determined I had to get the Old Dutch back together.  I had to see if I couldn't reclaim some of the joy.  Because this blog isn't called Church of the Granny Bike for nothing, and I'm the kind of person who stops going to church if there isn't any joy in it.

So.  I had some work to do.  And my roommate did too, because that chain wasn't going to put itself back on.**

My first ride was at night.  The first thing I noticed was that I had gotten faster from riding that teensy bike.  The second thing I noticed was the way the wind felt against my face.  Feeling the wind on my face again-- in that special way that one can only feel on a big steel upright bike***-- gave me hope.  I might be able to enjoy this.

It's been a gift getting reacquainted with the Old Dutch.  Going out on it every day has challenged me to actually leave me house every day.  Did you know I can be kind of a hermit?  To meet my daily ride quota (just one!), I've actually taken the bike out just for fun.  I've been more prompt about doing errands instead of combining trips.  I've wondered why I wasn't riding my bike every day.  I've given in to urges to make banana bread, urges to circle around Swann Fountain, and urges to ride around in short short dresses in spite of the wind.  

It wasn't until today-- after I put the seat up a bit, and after somebody had manhandled the ODT in an effort to have it for their very own-- that I felt truly reconnected.  Hightailing it out of the unfamiliar neighborhood, I couldn't help but feel like I was on parade, showing the whole damn world that the Old Dutch Treat [!] is my bike, and that smile on my face is there because I'm having so much fun riding it.  

It was perfect.

*this blog is all about meeeeeeeee!
**I am now an expert at this.
***yep. if it's not steel, you can't have that feeling. sorry.

1 comment:

Flora said...

I don't know if I have ever told you this Mel, but you inspire me. Thank you for being you.