I got a fever, and the only prescription is…

I miss my bike. I’ve logged a remarkably low number of miles this summer, especially compared to last year.

It’s a result of a confluence of factors. I’ve been traveling, both for fun and work. I’ve had a lot of other activities – comics conventions, relatives visiting, and parties. On the weekends I didn’t have anything planned, we had rolling thunderstorms. And of course, there’s been multiple mishaps with my bike. In the beginning of the season, the lock on my bike broke, leaving it stranded in Bethesda, and lately I’ve had a slew of flat tires. I’m still terribly slow at fixing flats, so I need a good half-hour of daylight to get it done. I thought I had fixed the most recent one after I pulled out a tack, but then it flatted again less than a mile into the ride. Perhaps most importantly, I wasn’t training for anything. Last summer, I had two different major rides for which I needed to maintain a minimal level of fitness. This year, nothing was motivating me except my own desire to get on the bike.

Until now, it’s been a low-level frustration. I’ll occasionally think, “Wow, I haven’t ridden in forever.” Or if I’m feeling guilty, “I’m a terrible cyclist for taking so long to fix my bike.” In fact, I haven’t written about it because I’m a bit ashamed. Perhaps the Bike Blogging Police will take away my license.

But in the past few days, it’s developed into more of an existential ache, like something is physically wrong. I’ve felt more tired, even though I’ve had the same level of sleep deprivation as usual. I haven’t had enough exposure to nature. Even though I walk to the Metro every morning, I’m not awake enough to appreciate the natural world. My base level is more grumpy and stressed. Even yoga is less enjoyable, less meditative. I have bicycle withdrawal and the symptoms are only getting worse.

So I’ve committed to fixing the problem. This week, my bicycle will be enjoying some quality R&R. I tried to drop it off this weekend, but they were full up, so we’ll do it on Tuesday instead. I hope that will resolve the fact that I haven’t been able to put the bike in its hardest gear for about a month. They’ll also be able to repair my tire problem, which just inspires groaning every time I think about doing it. I know I should learn to fix flat tires more efficiently, but when you’re actually revved up for riding is a terrible time to practice.

I hope I can go for a bike ride again soon. Now, I realize that you appreciate the benefits of biking the most when you aren’t doing it.

Have you gone through a period when you haven’t rode and missed it terribly? What got you started again?

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6 Responses to I got a fever, and the only prescription is…

  1. bicyclebug says:

    Yes, I know exactly what you mean. I have a new internship that requires driving to 3 days a week. Spending almost an hour in the car each way, I go to bed a bit depressed and stressed those days.

    But, my bike commute on Friday has never been more enjoyable. And I make sure to never take it for granted anymore.

    • Shannon says:

      How frustrating to have to change your commute so drastically! I’m so glad that even though I’m too far to bike every day that I can at least always take public transit. I just drove back from upstate New York today and although that was a very long ride, I can’t imagine driving an hour each way daily.

  2. BB says:

    I’ve just been given my father’s old car and because I hate driving (and I’m terrible at it) I vowed I would drive the whole first week of ownership. I tried terribly hard, but, didn’t make it. It’s Spring, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and my legs seem to develop a restless mind of their own due to lack of exercise! I’m very grateful for the motorised gift and I’m sure it will be handy now and then, but, I’ve come to realise after so many years car free, that to maintain a relaxed mind and body, I need, nay, crave a daily pedal. 🙂

    • Shannon says:

      I was confused at your reference to spring, but then I remembered you’re in the Southern Hemisphere! I hope you enjoy the season as it arrives and get in plenty of time on your bike. I’m trying to grasp at the last of the warm weather before it turns winter here.

  3. Jean says:

    Where I live now, are longer winters that are longer, waaaaay colder, snowier and icier. I do get cycling withdrawal. But last winter I managed to cycle at least 70% of the time, meaning a 8 km. ride made me happy.

  4. Pingback: This month in the Slacktiverse « The Slacktiverse

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