Back on the bike


This picture is in the public domain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)”]Ride a Stearns and be content. Poster by Edwar...Last year I started riding my bike to work at the beginning of April.  I rode until mid-October, until the time change and then it was too dark, even with a light. I loved riding my bike – no line-ups, no crowds, no listening to someone else’s music blare out of their earphones.  Just fresh air and peace and quiet.

 I took the bus during the winter and counted every month until I could get back on my bike.   I purposely didn’t buy a public transit pass for April.  My bike was ready and I had located the essentials = my panniers (to carry my stuff), my lock and my helmet. We have access to showers in our building, so it is just a matter of throwing on some weather appropriate clothing and saddling up.  But when Monday rolled around, I found myself making excuses about riding to work.  I wasn’t feeling well, I was tired, I was volunteering at school and riding would make me too late (It takes me about 40-45 minutes to ride, lock up my bike and shower and get ready)

But I have found I have been impatient, especially with M, over the last couple of days.   He pretty much always tunes me out when his is watching tv or playing computer games, but yesterday, I could hear my voice going up a few octaves as I kept asking him to do something.   I usually get out for a walk with a friend at lunch at least 2-3 times a week, but the last couple of weeks have been too busy.   So I knew I needed exercise.  

For me, exercise is a way of managing my stress and improving/sustaining my mental health.  Too little exercise, even over a couple of weeks, has an impact.  I get impatient, crabby and tired.  Which just makes me less patient and even crabbier.

Cycling is a good fit for me – the distance is long enough so I am actually working at it, but not so long that it is arduous.  I usually ride along a public pathway that follows a river, so the scenery is pleasant.  The only real hazard is the geese – they like to graze on the grass bordering the pathway and it can be a bit nerve-wracking when a flock of them decide to cross in front of you as you are rolling down the path.  Despite a couple of close calls, I’ve never made contact with a goose. 

So this morning, I packed my clothes in my panniers, along with my lunch, threw on some warm clothes and headed out on my bike.  I deliberately went slowly.  It was a bit chilly to start but I warmed up quickly.  I got to work refreshed and in a good mood.  I don’t hate the bus, but getting there on my own steam is much more pleasant.

It wasn’t supposed to rain, but of course it did.  My office window affords me a good view of the storms coming and going and I watched a series of them blow by over the course of the afternoon.  I managed to get home in between storm fronts and again, it was enjoyable.  It will probably take me a few days to back into the routine of  being back on my bike.  It may take a few days longer before I start to notice the positive effects.   M probably still won’t answer me the first or third time I talk to him while he’s playing on an electronic device, but hopefully it won’t bother me as much.  Plus I will start to get thighs of steel.

Update:  This morning when I headed out on my bike, it was cold and there was a head wind that made me feel lie I was pedalling through molasses.   My right leg wasn’t very happy with having to work  so hard – I could feel the strain from my knee right up my thigh.  The river looked gray and angry.  But the sun came out about 5 minutes before I got to work.  I  had a warm shower.   I feel much calmer and relaxed compared to mornings I take the bus.  Must be all the oxygen.


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