'From the Saddle' is a monthly note from our Executive Director.
There was a script I used to deliver to dubious fair-weather cyclists and bike curious loved ones, as recently as last month, in which I'd talk about that first mile. For me, that first mile was the worst. I whined to myself it was too hot, too cold, too wet, or I was too late. If I could just manage to get my butt on the bike and get through that, I could get myself to the point of actually enjoying the rest. But that "if" was a force! Every day presented a new opportunity to struggle over whether to ride, with lots of excuses for why not to weighed against "yeah, but as the Executive Director of a BIKE ORGANIZATION...". It was exhausting.
But I am here today to tell you that at long last, after 12 years of riding my bike for transportation, my script has flipped. Utterly, absolutely, totally. The "if factor" is resolved; my ambivalence has evaporated. I'm enjoying EVERY mile on my bike.
I realized something had shifted with some shock upon my return from a Key West vacation. While there I rode every day, on a ridiculous single speed rental bike that fit terribly and was maintained even worse. Some days I wanted to ride and others I rode because I made a goal to ride every day this year. So ride I did, up and down the island on that hot mess. And somehow, upon my return to Ohio and my perfectly-crafted-for-me bike, things were different. But why?? Was it the relief of homecoming after riding that broken alien steed for some 80 miles? Maybe.
But I'm guessing that my new and unexpected love of riding began not with Key West but with a commitment I made at the beginning of 2016—that I was going to ride every single day this year, no matter what. Declarations like that are very powerful, I'm learning anew in my bike life. Less than one month in and there is no more "if". There's only riding for me, from here on out. How about you?