Man, I haven’t been riding that much lately. And I’m not excited about it.
Now it’s not just the turn towards winter, with its shorter, colder, wetter days. There’s other factors at play. The biggest one is me quitting The Hostel. A “day job” meant I needed to get there, and bicycling was my preferred method. I could count on a 3-6 mile one way (depending where I was coming from) ride to work, five days a week. Even though I didn’t enjoy work, I could at least enjoy the ride.
Now I “work for myself” whether art or contract work, and these are “work from home” type things that have no set hours. I don’t have to be somewhere five days a week. So my automatic 30 to 60 miles of bike riding a week has been cut to zero.
So, I have to motivate myself to ride my bike. And coming into winter is possibly the hardest time to do that, with the weather and reduced daylight. Of course, winters here are not that bad by any means, so I don’t have as much of an excuse than if I lived in, say, Winnipeg. Still, I have to push myself out the door.
It might be easier if I was a morning person. Go on a bike ride and then get to work! But there’s one thing that I’ve learned about myself is that I am not a morning person, no matter how hard I try, no matter how many New Years Resolutions about “getting up by 8:30 AM every day” I make to myself. By the time I roll out of bed, do my morning breakfast and goof off on the internet thing, it’s already noon. Do I go on a bike ride with the few hours of daylight I have left, or do I get to work?
And since I’ve been getting ready for Bike Craft and working on other projects, I haven’t given myself the luxury of “a day off”. When I worked five days a week, I tried to do something fun like a bike ride on one of my days off. But when one has no real schedule and a list of goals, it’s a bit harder to have a “fun” day.
So I barely ride, and get cranky from not riding. When I do get out on a bike (usually to run an errand and/or work from somewhere not from home), I feel better. A lot better. Portland in December? Yeah, it’s going to be overwhelmingly grey, but as long as it’s not raining hard, it ain’t so bad, with a high usually somewhere in the 40’s F. As long as I’m dressed for the weather, it ain’t so bad.
So I need to motivate myself to get out there and ride. When this Bike Craft weekend is done, I should have more “free” time. One of those days should consist of a good long bike ride. Because I need it!