The Catharsis of Seasonal Change
"It's over. Step away from the roadbike" I said to myself as gently as possible while watching the snow from the window. I was going to publish this over the weekend and title the post "The End." But then I decided that was far too dramatic, and that when titles like this come to mind the prudent thing to do is take a couple of days off from the blog. It's snow for goodness sake, not the end of the world. In fact, it is quite beautiful. And in retrospect I see that it has been cathartic - a resolution to a state of uncertainty.
It took me a while to connect this unsettled, disorganised state of mind to a decrease in cycling. Soon after the holidays the roads had turned icy, so I hadn't been riding as much as during the previous month. Of course! I was coming down from a long endorphin high, and not in the midst of an existential crisis. What made it worse, was that since it hadn't started snowing yet, I kept thinking that I could/should be cycling. I kept waiting for the idyl of December to return, not willing to put my bike on the trainer just yet, stuck in limbo.
With the snow's arrival, the limbo finally ended and things became more clear-cut: "Right then. Bike on the trainer and you are done for the season. Now stop checking the weather obsessively, ride indoors while watching all the movies you've been meaning to catch up on, and get on with your life!" (Is it a bad sign when the snow speaks to you? No, no, don't answer that...)
This might sound strange coming from someone with a daily blog about bicycles, but I tend to downplay the importance of cycling in my "real" life, particularly roadcycling. It is my anti-athletic, anti-"jock" bias - a holdover from my teenage days as the angsty weird arty girl, for whom jocks were the enemy. Not very open-minded of me to carry that over, but at least I admit it. Cycling, important? Oh no, it means nothing to me compared to things like art and (real, not bloggery) writing. Oh this little blog? It's just some light-hearted stress relief. Hours a day in the saddle? It's just physical activity; it means nothing. But of course it can't possibly mean nothing. I need to admit to myself that cycling is important to me and that it integrates with the rest of my life whether I want to acknowledge it or not. Likewise, when I drastically decrease my time on the bike it will impact other aspects of my life. It will affect my mood, creativity and productivity. I was going through withdrawal, plain and simple.
The human mind is a funny thing, and once I became aware of all this, I felt better. Swiftly, we got me all moved into the new studio - thanks to the Co-Habitant's formidable lifting prowess and a magnificent zipcar pick-up truck. I even got a workout from carrying stuff up and down 3 flights of stairs, as the freight elevator in the building is not operational over the weekend. My calves are still hurting today from all that stair-climbing and it feels kind of nice. Maybe I should do this for fun in addition to walking and riding on the trainer, and all together that might keep me in shape till spring. Of course I could also cycle inside the studio (as demonstrated by the lovely bikeyface). Indoor mini-velodrome à la Interbike 2011?
As I write this, the heaps of snow are already half-gone and temperatures are mild again. It is possible that the roads will clear up completely and we will have a continuation of our mild winter. But I am going to take a break from roadcycling anyhow, because all the back-and-forth and the increasing concerns about icy roads on descents are making me way too neurotic and it's time to stop. Of course, transportation cycling continues as usual. Seasonal change is good, winter is beautiful, and finally I feel that the year is off to a good start. Now, could somebody please tell me what those purple berries are?..