Posts Tagged ‘cycling’

When Anna and I decided to call this blog “ditch the umbrella,” we both agreed that the title might need some explanation. So I’ll tell you a story.

This past summer, I got really into cycling.

I’ve had a bike for years. As a student, I rode a fixie around campus, which was neat because I could pedal both forwards and backwards. When I lived in Jerusalem, I would commute to work by bike, an often dangerous feat among the Israeli drivers.

But this summer, I took the biking thing to a whole new level. I started biking over seventy-five miles a week – way more than I’ve ever done before. I got a pretty new road bike with real gears and ultra-thin tires. We had an absolutely, stunningly perfect summer, and so I figure I spent at least ten hours a week on my bike in the sunshine. Definitely a good thing for my vitamin D!

In her first blog post, Anna wrote about how as the fall sets in, she’s been feeling anxious. Anna’s anxiety comes from wanting to get up and move in autumn, which is funny because I usually think of fall as a time to settle down and prepare for hibernation.

But this year, I’ve been feeling anxious too. Because I know that my days on my bike are numbered. Pretty soon, this lovely New England fall is going to turn into a lovely, but hideously cold New England winter. The roads will ice over. And my bike will go into storage.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that this fall, I’ve been trying to get as many hours of bike time in as possible. And so I’ve been riding in all sorts of crazy weather: heavy winds, torrential downpours, even the occasional flood alert.

Riding a bike through a tropical storm is certainly “ditching the umbrella.” But the point of this blog is not, literally, that we should spend more time in the rain. The point is that by “ditching the umbrella” I’ve become incredibly aware of changes in the weather, and the complex ways that they impact my life.

Which all means very little for me. Winter’s coming and I still feel anxious. So for me, this blog is about understanding the greater patterns in my emotional calendar, and about learning what to do with this new knowledge. When I say I want to “ditch the umbrella,” I mean that I want to achieve a greater level of seasonal embrace – both physically, and emotionally.

My great discovery so far: rainy days may make us feel under the weather. But riding a bike through a storm? That’s exhilarating.


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