Thursday, January 12, 2012

On A Winter Evening

At this particular moment, it seems impossible - and stupid, and flat-out deluded - to think of tooling around on a bicycle within the next couple of months. My head gets filled with visions of learning so well, and being all geared up and full of enthusiasm that I'd happily jump on the bike in even the awful-but-not-deadly weather we get around here. But then the visions just fly away and it seems as far-fetched as a quick little jaunt to the moon on the back of a unicorn.

Real Winter(tm) has blown in, and hence my mood. This is the view outside my window tonight:

Even when it warms up this weekend (allegedly), there'll be slush everywhere. Plus, it's so cold and the wind just cuts through you, it's so miserable. And it'll probably be like this til about May, so how will I ever get up to speed on a bike? I won't. EVER. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN DOOM GLOOM BAH HUMBUG. So says the Pessimistic Polly within. I like her far less than Perky Pollyanna. And that's saying something, as I am not a fan of perky, unless you're describing, like, fresh fruit.

Anyway. I just have a long way to go, is all. It really, really doesn't help that I've only managed one workout this week. (My schedule is conspiring against me, and I really need to make it work for me. Freaking time management and unexpected interruptions in the workday, etc.) I compensate for this lack of real work by stuffing my head with book-learning. Aside from books, there is the glorious internet and all its wonderful videos. My friend Megan, Bicycleuse Extraordinaire, referred me to a great Chicago biking blog called Let's Go Ride a Bike, which I adore and is where I found this terrific little video on how to start and stop. Honestly, everyone should be made to watch this kind of demo before ever thinking of getting on the bike:

Here's hoping I can actually get out and practice starting and stopping this weekend. I should AT LEAST try to have that down pat before training begins. All I really need is one little clear patch to practice on. So, fingers crossed.

I plan to take some pics of my bike and tell you a bit about it. It's nowhere near as fun as the bikes at LGRAB (I have an unbearable, desperate, aching longing for the Civia Loring now, on the basis of looks alone), but I think what I have is good for the upcoming job at hand and probably quite good for other types of riders as well. Since the info I found about it online was frustrating to me, I figured I owe it to the internet to put my own thoughts out there. So that'll happen if it's nice enough to haul the ole girl out of the basement this weekend.

In the meantime, I want my flannel sheets, a wee dram of something Scottish, and a few pages to read before I nod off. Maybe it'll improve my current hopeless-flavored thoughts.


Dottie said...

This is great! I'd love to read about your bikes. Like you said, it's good to give back to the internet-world. Lack of info on the internet about my Dutch bike was one of the reasons I started my bike blog (although now there is much more info out there).

Have you seen the LGRAB guide to winter cycling? Although admittedly winter is not the best time to *start* biking. :) Flannel sheets and Scotch sound lovely right now.

Beth said...

Dottie, I should tell you that I have religiously read pretty much ALL of LGRAB's how-to posts! Catch me in a year and I'm far more likely to be zipping about on two wheels in sub-freezing temps. ;-)

Also, I must thank you and Trisha from the bottom of my heart for that stopping/starting video, and just in general for creating a place that sets an example of ordinary, non-spandex-loving people getting around by bike. My morale just now is very low, but all I need to do is visit LGRAB and I get a dose of encouragement. Bless you both, and the scotch is on me the next time you have a bar-hopping on bikes type of meet-up!

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