Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Bicycle Saved My Life: Part II

So, I really didn't want to get out of bed this morning.  Yesterday was a tough day, and I didn't sleep that good last night.  Once I was up, I really didn't want to ride to work.  It has been cold the last few days, with lows in the upper teens, and it is humid, the perfect combination for misery.   I drank my coffee, read my devotional (Oswald Chambers; great stuff), and ate my cereal.  Then I did what I do so many mornings before a commute.  I went through the motions.  Go upstairs, brush my teeth, go into the bedroom and pull on riding shorts, a shirt, wool socks, wool tights and my nylon hiking shorts.  Then it's to the basement to put on my winter riding boots, vest, coat, hat, balaclava, gloves and helmet.  Then, into the garage, where I roll out my bike, attach the panniers to the rack, turn on the three tail-lights, make sure the headlight is switched on, and crawl onto the bike.  All of this is done without a lot of decision making.  I just do it.

Once I'm riding, things begin to look up.  It's cold, but not too bad.  Brian taught me a long time ago that if you start out a winter ride with enough clothes on to be warm, you will soon be too hot.  My legs feel the cold first. My wool tight are pretty old, and a little more threadbare than they used to be.  This time of year, I take the back way out of the neighborhood, which means my first couple of mile is predominately down hill.  By the time I hit the river, I am cold.  My face hurts (I know, it's killing you), my torso is cold, but the worst are my hands.  By mile two, they are frozen, and they hurt.

There is a comfort in pain.  I know, that sounds a bit odd, but it is true.  On a cold morning, after an emotionally draining day like yesterday, I welcome the cold.  I like how it feels biting my cheeks.  On mornings like this, I welcome the pain.  I am a bit OCD, and when things go bad, I play the events over and over in my head.  I cannot seem to get it to stop, until I crawl on that bike, and feel the frigid air.  Suddenly, all I think about is cold.  For thirty wonderful minutes, the events of yesterday are gone, replaced by one all consuming thought.  My hands friggin hurt!  

By the time I get to work, I have warmed up considerably.  In fact, I stopped at the Seltice Park and Ride to took my balaclava off.  I lock up my bike, go into work and begin another day.  Nothing has been solved, but I am able to clear my head a little.  And no matter what happens today at work, I will crawl on my bike this afternoon.  The good news?  It's supposed to be in the low twenties.


Mike said...

What happened yesterday?

idahorider said...

Don't worry, Georgie's fine. Just lost a staff member that I really didn't want to lose. You know, bizness.