Shouldn’t I be riding?

It’s hard to get a good long ride in on a winter day, unless you have the day off. I feel like I haven’t had many “days off” lately, besides my time in Seattle. And even then, the weather has to be somewhat cooperative. Sure, I could ride in drizzle. But I didn’t want to ride any of those days in December where we were getting two inches of rain.

And Sunday? It was beautiful out, sunny and 50F/10C, a great day for a ride! And I had the day off.

The problem: I had the day off because of things to do.

Now one of them originally was going to be something of a bike ride. A bunch of vintage cruiser bike dudes meet up once a month on Sunday afternoon. While my cruiser is decidedly un-vintage, I had been wanting to check it out for some time. But since they always happened typically when I work, I couldn’t. So it was nice to see it line up, finally. But then I got a report that due to “other obligations”, the dudes were only going to have the meet and greet part, not the actual ride. I didn’t really feel like riding halfway across town to have one beer for maybe an hour, and come back towards home.

And I would have to come right back, because my friend was having her annual champagne brunch, and she lives just a few blocks from me. I’ve been going for years, but normally hit it up later in the day, after work. This would be the first time in a long time that I could go early! That would be good because I might see some folks I knew, folks I don’t see often, who might show up early and take off.

Of course, all the people I knew showed up later, after dark. Yeah, it was a fun time (and a good deal of champagne consumed.) But for a few hours, I couldn’t help but look out to the crystal blue sky and the mountains in the distance and wonder: Shouldn’t I be riding instead? Especially since the few days afterward were wet.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had this feeling. In late 2005 I worked as a temporary call center drone for a catalog retailer in the western suburbs. The job sucked, but I needed the cash. The good thing about the space was there were many big windows with a view of the woodland preserve next door. The bad thing was I stared out the window all day on those nice days, the pastoral setting taunting me. There I was, stuck inside, answering calls. Shouldn’t I be out there instead, enjoying a nice day? To add insult to injury, it always seemed to rain on the days off. But thankfully I got “let go” early, most likely because I was unwilling to “upsell” to folks.

Or there was a time a few years after that, when I went to a “training” at a volunteer gig I did. The training was supposed to be only a few hours, but somehow it lasted all day, into the dark. I was basically staring out the window, looking at the nice day outside, wondering why I’m inside.

Oh sure, I know there will be more opportunities to ride, soon. When the days get longer and the weather nicer, it will become easier. But I want to ride now!

Still, I managed to get a smidge of a ride in on Sunday. I was futzing around and changing some things to the Schwinn Heavy Duti, so I wanted to give it a spin around the neighborhood to see how it all worked. I like having the Bullmoose bars, but it does put the already gigantic front basket a bit more forward than the swept back bars on previously. So we’ll see if I like it, or if I need to switch back to “cruiser” bars. I managed to swing down to the Vancouver Avenue Viaduct, where I was greeted with views of four snow-capped volcanoes: Rainier, St. Helens, Adams, and Hood. There are days where I wonder why I live in Portland. A day where I can see the volcanoes in winter is not one of those days!


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