Thursday, February 17, 2011

Everything Else Stays the Same, It's Me That's Changed

The garage door closes behind me. I'm committed. There are three miles separating me from my place of work and it's just me and my faithful steed (maybe I'll name her one of these days). It used to be that my commute was only one mile. You can walk one mile pretty fast. If there was snow or ice in those days, I would just walk. Sometimes I'd put chains on my shoes called Yak Trax. Often I'd run. For weeks at a time my bicycles would sit lonely, in the garage.

This morning, the three miles separating me from work seem normal. My frozen breath hangs in the air as I fumble to buckle the strap on my helmet. I am standing in six inches of snow, firm and sun-baked. There is poetry in this ritual. The route never really changes. I do, though. What used to feel cold, is cold no longer. My face is used to the feeling of an icy breeze. My hands are well accustomed to numbness. So are my toes. Wet doesn't really bother me either. I always seem to dry out and warm up. When the temperature warms up, I'll trade my pants for shorts, I'll trade my beard for a close shave and I'll still ride. The walking thing isn't nearly as convenient when it takes an hour to get to work compared with the 9-12 minutes it takes on my bike.

When I pedaled off toward work this morning their was some snow and some cold. The bike lanes were mostly large snow-berms, some cars passed me at quite inopportune times. It sure did feel good to be out on my bike, though.

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