Just Decide to Ride
But sometimes it is not inspiring. Sometimes I feel a little like there are all these supposed superwomen out there, bringing home the bacon and racing bikes on the weekend. Raising kids and racing bikes. Beating cancer and racing bikes. Or performing other staggering feats of biking endurance I’ll never attempt.
And then there’s me. The somewhat-wimpy city cyclist. Doing my daily four or five (or sometimes 10) miles, ferrying my kid back and forth by bike from school, biking to teach yoga, biking to the store, the bank, and to mid-week food cart dinners.
Nothing heroic there. Nobody’s going to blog about my utter grit and determination to get on my bike for 3:15 pick ups even though I just don’t want to. It’s a non-story.
And yet, if I have slumps, bad days, resistance to putting foot to pedal, others must, too. In fact, there must be at least a million women who haven’t overcome their resistance to biking at all. Otherwise it would be equal opportunity in the bike lanes, and it’s not.
So what works on a day like today, when life feels uninspiring and the thought of cycling in the damp June-day chill is completely unappealing?
Well, I’ve realized there’s a three-step process. First, I just decide I’m going to ride (it’s good I decide this, as we don’t have a car).
Just saying this, “I’m riding,” is important – no more mind games around reasons NOT to ride.
Second, I remind myself I’ll feel better at some point when I am riding, no matter how cranky I seem to myself now.
And three, I put on my rain pants. They are a little like big-girl pants, (they also keep the wetness off).
Now obviously, I’m not always going to need my rain pants. It doesn’t rain in Portland that much! So sometimes this donning of the rain pants is purely metaphorical.
Getting out the rain pants (without actually always putting them on) is my signal to myself that I’m really going to do it.
OK, none of this is epic, uber-important, or ground breaking. However, when thinking about all the women who don’t ride and all the reasons they have for why they don’t, I’m concluding that saying yes to deciding to ride is what we non-superwomen need sometimes.