So winter is not going anywhere; we are smack dab in the midst of it. Unlike some of my fellow velo bloggerists, I am fortunate enough not to suffer from SAD-like symptoms or "winter blues". I love winter! The Co-Habitant does as well, and whenever we have the chance we travel North to get even more of it.
In my own neighborhood, winter is quite beautiful as well. The snow, the bare trees, the crisp air, that somewhat surreal quality of light - I love it all.
What I don't love so much, is winter cycling. Sorry, I really am trying. But I just don't love it. The combination of how time consuming it is to get my clothing just right and how much more vigilant I have to be of the road conditions, adds stress and sucks much of the joy out of it for me. I still cycle, but unless the day is exceptionally warm, it has become an activity that I do mostly out of necessity. I look at Dottie's pictures and narratives on Let's Go Ride a Bike, and I am in awe on a number of levels. But not everyone's experience is the same, and I think that's okay. I have the right wool, the right boots, the right bike - but most of the time I still do not find it easy or enjoyable. If this disappoints some readers or says something terrible about my character, then so be it, but I prefer to be honest.
A couple of weeks ago, Un Vieux Velo humorously pointed out the "competitive winter cycling" phenomenon that was spreading through the blogs and flickr after the Christmas blizzard, and to some extent I do think it's true that we - perhaps unconsciously - sometimes try to outdo each other (Coming Up Next Week: "My blizzard was blizzardier that your blizzard! And I biked to work in a bikini!").
But jokes aside, I do feel some responsibility if I present an unrealistic image. Despite the snowy scenes I show, I do not mean to pretend that I am a stoic winter cyclist. Quite often I am miserable. If my destination is close enough I prefer to walk. And while I don't drive myself (don't like it), the Co-Habitant does, and for a number of reasons we use the car much more often now than during the warmer seasons. And that's perfectly fine with me.
If you love winter but don't love winter cycling, I think the only thing to do is just to let it go and not try to combine the two. You cycled only twice this week? Fine. No need to feel bad. Enjoy taking a walk around the neighborhood instead. Or forget the bike and go skiing, if that's your thing. Or sit by the fire place reading cycling magazines and watching the snow out of the window, if that's what makes you happy. It's all about improving the quality of your life, rather than proving a point. Happy Winter, and enjoy it in any way you like.