Riders' Block, if you will.
In some ways, I sort of wonder if ignorance was bliss last year. I read a lot of blogs like Lovely Bike and LGRAB and Simply Bike, where the message is just ride; it's not scary, it's fun! And so, I did. As I started cycling, I rediscovered my Twitter account and have started following a lot of other avid cyclists, many of whom are staunch advocates for ditching the car entirely, for infrastructure improvements, and for shaping the car vs. bike discussion in any manner of ways. I devoured as much as I could in order that I might discover tips and tricks, or avoid problems other riders had encountered. And when there was something that frustrated a rider, I could sometimes revel in the idea that things that weren't easy or pleasant for me weren't always easy or pleasant for others.
Perhaps it was continuing to digest all of this information during months when cycle commuting felt out of the question - icy, hilly roads with heavy and rapid traffic patterns, and a sun that insisted on setting before I would get up in the morning or leave the office in the evening - but it started to feel complicated.
It's not complicated. My brain is trying to make it tricky, but it simply isn't. I just need to ride.
So today's post is in preparation of three bike-related events I have coming up in the next week or so:
- I'm taking a fun ride with Melissa this weekend;
- I'm taking a Cycling Savvy class (at Melissa's gentle suggestion) next week; and
- I'm going on the local Cycling Savvy bike ride next weekend.
I am looking forward to having a reason to get on the bike, and frankly, someone to keep me company. Melissa and I will be exploring the frustrating parts of my bike-to-work route and trying some possible alternatives. And, while I've made it clear in prior posts that I'm on the side of protected bike lanes and more cycling infrastructure (I don't particularly enjoy riding with or in traffic), there are parts of St. Louis City and County where you must engage in vehicular cycling, and becoming more familiar and more comfortable in that role will hopefully kick the anxiety portion of my not. riding. Finally, a group ride will hopefully help to connect me with other riders in my local community (and perhaps, other relative beginners).
So, a shout-out to Melissa, because whether she realizes it or not, she's really the rallying force that's getting me back on the saddle, and soon.
Let's go for a ride.