These are the times that try a cyclist’s soul

Don’t get me wrong. I love the holidays.

But every year, I promise myself that I’ll stay in shape and keep riding through the holidays. And every year, something gets in the way.

Like couple years ago, when I had more work than I could possibly handle and not nearly enough time to do it. Or last year, when I was recovering from the injuries suffered in the infamous beachfront bee encounter, and under strict orders not to exercise until after the 1st.

This year, it’s been a combination of things.

From a couple weeks worth of on-site work that kept me tied up for the first part of the month, to physical therapy sessions to overcome the last lingering effects of my injuries from last year. Not to mention the recent — and predicted forthcoming — rains. As well as the need to place yet another toll-free call to Bangalore to wrestle with Earthlink’s technical support over my recently intermittent internet service, which has developed the nasty habit of simply ceasing operations every few minutes.

And then, of course, there are the myriad demands of the holiday’s themselves. For instance, this would have been a great day for a ride. A little cool, perhaps, but certainly better than riders elsewhere have to contend with this time of year (although discretion could come into play at some point).

Instead, I find myself digging out the steam cleaner, and taking another pass at reviving the carpet our landlord should have replaced years ago, before the relatives pop over for Christmas brunch. That follows a few days of excavating and erecting holiday decorations, and scrubbing the tile in the kitchen and bathrooms to remove the wax that makes it look clean and shiny.

I realize all you single guys are wondering why I would go to such trouble. But anyone who has been married understands that the motivation lies less in cleanliness than with continued connubial bliss.  And that the first stage of ensuring a happy holiday season is ensuring a happy spouse.

And that, in my case, means clean floors.

Of course, there’s always the possibility that I’ll get out on my bike next week if the weather allows. If not, as the primary pastry chef in our extended family, it will provide the ideal opportunity for a little holiday baking. Because it’s just not Christmas without a plateful of cookies tempting you into a week’s worth of caloric intake in a single sitting.

And I may take some down to the alley behind our building, along with a few extra coats and blankets. Because, as much as I may miss riding right now, I know I’ll be back on the bike soon. And as hard as this year has been, there are a lot of people who are a lot worse off.

Including some whose only form of transportation is a shopping cart.


The perfect gift for those kids who can’t decide whether to ask Santa for a bike or a pony — if you don’t mind the risk of psychological damage that could keep them in therapy for life. Stephen Box reviews the year in transportation, and calls on the city to actually live up to the recently passed Cyclist’s Bill of Rights — particularly the requirement for an educated police force that understands and respects our rights. After a number of near-misses, Will succeeds in his one-man canine rescue. Timur starts a conversation about why S.F. got it right when it comes to cycling, whereas L.A. got it so very wrong. And everyone seems to be talking about L.A. Magazine’s exploration of the local bike culture. Maybe once Christmas is over, I may actually get a chance to read it.

One comment

  1. disgruntled says:

    You know, I’ve been looking for the perfect bike, and I think you might have found it. Think they do them in adult sizes?

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