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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Today & Tomorrow

Note to self. Go ride. Just ride.

All of December and into the new year, life busted my chops. I'm still staggering. One result was that I did not ride a bike for almost 7 weeks. Not surprisingly, I gained weight, lost fitness, and, worse, cared not.

Then one morning, no different from any other, I dressed up to ride, for no discernible reason. I rode a modified version of my old work commute to downtown, adding to a paved bike path ride a mix of single track, dirt, grass and gravel. Once started, I kept pedaling and eventually rode 16 miles over 2 hours.

Therapeutic. And a nice reminder.

Every day matters. Every ride matters.

Sunny winter day along the Rapid City bike path, with M-Hill in the background.

For twelve years, I rode my bike about 5 miles to and from work practically every day, year around. I had no larger agenda; not training, not spending less on gas, not saving the planet. I just loved that I could ride my bike twice every day. A Final Commute.

Any given day, it was not apparent how such a short, low level effort would make much of a lifestyle difference. However, I loved the ride, felt better all day, and unknowingly built a physical and mental base for the inevitable big rides in the future. Eventually, I realized that little bit of consistent daily movement over time produced significant health and fitness gains. Physical and mental.

Riding past Little League baseball fields always brings a smile.

Three weeks have now passed since that reminder bike ride. Other than a day spent shoveling piles of snow and another day committed to family matters, I have ridden some variation of that route every day since. Most days I cover those 15-16 miles in about 2 hours on my loaded Jones mountain bike, although sometimes it's an easy 90 minute spin and sometimes a hard 3 hour grunt. But I've been out there, living a lesson deeply engraved from the Great Divide. Living A Dream.

Enjoy the day, with everything that comes with it, and give yourself a chance to ride tomorrow.

Ride today. Ride tomorrow.
That today had no snow. Tomorrow this may be a trail.

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