Happy New Year, Bicycling World
January 1, 2010
It’s the dawn of a glorious new cycling year, with limitless possibilities and fresh resolutions. I had every intention of kicking off 2010 by bicycling around the ‘hood, even if it was only a few miles. But I have my limits. This morning the temperature here in the grasslands is 5°F, and there’s nearly a foot of snow on the ground. I come from pioneer stock, but several generations descended. My genes are no longer very hardy. I’d splinter into a million shards of ice.
Instead, I’m going to blog about bicycling. This is the time of year I dream about brilliant blue skies filled with puffy clouds that take on shapes from childhood. Why is it those clouds only appear in May and June? Those are the best days to cycle on the prairies. The wind is so light it feels like a caress, and the sun hasn’t yet reached the Heat Index stage. Ah, I long for those days.
I have bicycled every month of the year, although not regularly from November through February. It’s all a matter of perspective, I suppose. Last summer I met a woman from New Orleans who confided that she averaged 5,000 miles per year on her bike, but didn’t ride between November and March because it was too cold. Then she snorted at how ridiculous that must sound; we had a good laugh and continued cycling because it was 90°F and winter was far away. There are cyclists in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and other points north who ride year-round, and would scoff at this attitude, but I’m not bicycling in snow, ice, or sub-20°F temperatures. That’s just the way I am. It’ll warm up soon enough here, maybe even next week, and then you’ll be reading a post from me about winter cycling. I won’t be happy, but I’ll do it.
Which brings me to the reason for this blog. Last year I had a cycling goal of 3,000 miles. I fell short by just 160. My resolution for 2010 is to break the 3K barrier (I’ve never done it before), and keep a blog about the process. Blogging, I reason, will shame me into riding on days I’m feeling too cold, too hot, too tired, too lazy. Not achieving my goal will be public humiliation, that is, if anyone reads this blog! It’s the modern-day equivalent of being locked in stocks with a “Slacker” signboard around my neck. Failure is not an option.
What are your New Year’s resolutions for bicycling?