Winter bike commuter are three words I never thought I’d use. Certainly I never thought I’d use them in reference to myself. After getting off the bike late last September, I never got back on. Funny how that works.
In my mind I am the world’s best winter bike commuter. But I think fear holds me back. Like I’m gonna crash hard on the ice and have a multi-bone break with 18 stitches in my chin kind of crash. That did happen to me, but, funnily enough, it was the summer time. So maybe my luck will hold in the winter.
Over the last few weeks I’ve come to the realization that I must do some kind of long cardio movement everyday. The movement and heart rate increase seems to elevate my mood – “you looked filled with joy” is how Ms. H. described it – helps me sleep better and be a nicer person overall. Last summer during my heavy bike commuting, I just loved it. The pace allowed me time for reflection with engagement in my surroundings. Plus there is a bit of extending my middle finger quality to consumer auto suburban culture, too!
Fewer people on the mixed-use paths and a clear view for miles make the possibly of becoming a winter bike commuter appealing to me. I find the biggest challenging originates in motivation. Southeast Michigan in the winter suffers from a horrible lack of motivation. Like people get in their cars to drive 1/2 mile. People seem most concerned about the cold. But with the right preparation, cold won’t bother me, especially once my heart rate gets going.
So this weekend, I’m filling the tires with air and cleaning and relubing the chain. Will ice on the roads get the better of me? I don’t know. I have few bike handling skills in winter – in fact, I have none! – but the sooner I start, the sooner I can call myself a winter bike commuter. Legitimately.
Wish me luck.