I bike commute every day, but this time of year especially I tend to hibernate and stay busy on projects at home, keeping my errands consolidated and doing them all at once. Since the 365 challenge means I have to get out and ride at least a mile every day, if I don’t have anywhere to go I’ve found some reason on my weekends and days off to get out and get something done. So far:
1. After trying to install knobby tires to my bike and failing miserably, I rode to my local bike shop and practiced changing tires for 2 hours under supervision (by the way I’m beyond lucky to live just a mile from this shop, it’s simply the best place in Greenville).
2. On a day I might usually not leave the house and the high was 30 degrees, I went to a local community event in Greenville to protest against the current anti-immigration, negative political climate that is detrimental to our beautiful and diverse country. There were local speakers who shared their experiences and it was incredibly moving, not to mention informative. To be honest, if I hadn’t had to ride I might have just stayed home and made some excuse. But I am so glad that I went.
3. Since I work for the school district, the night before a potential snow day there’s a 5-6pm witching hour of OMG WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO ANNOUNCE THEIR DECISION where I sit and hit “refresh” repeatedly until the announcement posts and I can move on with my life. However, I had spent the day inside on the phone planning my Natchez trace trip (or trying to), and knew I had to get my ride in before it got dark and temps dropped again. So I went for a quick spin around my neighborhood, took my compost out to our community garden, and had a serious moment of zen. The air was so crisp, the sunset was gorgeous, no one was out and I meandered some neighborhood streets I hadn’t bothered exploring before despite living in my current apartment almost 2 years. Then I got back home, found out we had another snow day, and pouted because I actually want to go to work (also I need those makeup snow days for aforementioned Natchez Trace trip). But sometimes you just have to roll with it.
4. On yet another day I might be tempted to stay home and be a total cat lady (teacher work days, I went to too many faculty meetings to NOT use my saved up hours, k?), I reconnected over coffee with a friend at a place I’ve been stalking on instagram for like a year now. Check and check.
5. On MLK Day, a local bike club hosted a civil rights history bike tour of Greenville. I learned so much about my little town that I’ve come to love so much. We saw and discussed examples of segregation in daily life, sites of protests and marches, reminders of tragedies and failures of the justice system such as this one, and buildings where leaders such as MLK, Jackie Robinson and Jesse Jackson once stood, spoke and lived. Greenville gets a lot of recognition for being a forward thinking small town, but it’s important to remember that it wasn’t always this way. As painful as it is to hear these stories of discrimination and prejudice, we need to realize that we’ve come a long way, and we have a long way to go.
So that’s just 3 weeks into the year of “get off the couch and carpe diem”. I’m sure there will be many more adventures ahead! #bringiton2017