Cycling year-round (or, why biking through the winter makes you a happier person)

Okay, I know there are only so many posts about spring and flowers and other frou-frou I’m-so-excited-about-life shit that you can put up with, but bear with me for a few seconds. Because yesterday, while I was biking around in the crazy sunny-raining-sunny-hailing-darkdarkdark-sunny spring weather, I realized something.

It was somewhere between scoping out the waterfront cherry blossoms again–both in the sun…

waterfront cherry blossoms

…and in the pre-downpour overcast…

waterfront cherry blossoms II

–and seeing an amazing double rainbow over the Willamette River.

waterfront rainbow

Somewhere between those, I realized that biking gives me a much bigger sense of appreciation about these things than I might have if I’d gone the buy-a-car route. And that sense of appreciation is what propels me to spout off again and again about how gosh darn excited I am all the time (how do you guys stand it?;)

So my theory is that biking year-round makes me a happier person.

It works like this. Relying on my bike means that I am intimately familiar with all the vagaries of Portland weather. All winter, when it’s dark and cold and wet, I’m pulling on extra layers and my rain pants and my beanie and my thick gloves and stuffing extra clothes in my backpack for when I get to wherever I’m going and have to change. I re-conceive of my normal packing scheme so I can fit all those damn extra clothes in my backpack. I recharge the batteries for my lights again and again and again and learn to love (or at least stop noticing) the hideous smell of wet gloves. I replace brake pads at an astounding clip.

Granted, I love being out there, even in the worst of weather, but by the time spring rolls around and I’m cleaning the pernicious gunk off my drivetrain for the 50 millionth time since December, I am so excited for any indication that better weather is coming. I’veĀ put in hard hours of often crappy biking to earn that springtime. (Or rather, it’s not that the biking is crappy, it’s that it takes so much more initial motivation.) So by the time any hint of spring appears, I’m so darn excited about it that I walk around with a giant goofy grin on my face basically permanently. And I take lots of pictures of flowers. And I want to write about it all the time.

So sorry if you’re getting tired of flowers and springtime and puffy clouds. It’s just because biking all year has made me appreciate the finer points of life:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *