Motivational Monday

Love this post from Arleigh (“the artist formerly known as Bike Shop Girl”), she hits the nail on the head when it comes to those perfectionist, “someday” thoughts:

 

“You don’t need the moons to be aligned to start that new habit. You don’t have to be in “good enough” shape to start that exercise class. You don’t have to buy the perfect bike to start riding. You don’t need to have your masters degree to be an authority in your space. You don’t need to worry about all of the many reasons you can’t do something. You can be more.”

 

It reminds me of looking at a hill from a distance, thinking good lord I’ll never make it up, but you focus on the ground right in front of you, and next thing you know you’re halfway through it.

 

Now I just have to keep this in mind for travel planning, because currently I’m stalled out trying to make everything happen. One pedal at a time..

Motivational Monday

Things I’ve achieved from riding every day (so far)

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

 

 

Things I’ve achieved from riding every day (so far)

An open letter to my fellow road users

Dear People on the Road Lately:

“It is unlawful to harass, taunt, or maliciously throw an object at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle; and
A person who commits the above offense is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than two hundred fifty dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.
Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human-powered vehicle and shall give an audible signal when necessary. “
Source: S.C. Code Ann. §§56-5-3445; 56-5-3230

Sec. 26-37. – Bicycles.
No person in or on a public mall only shall:
(1) Riding in other than designated areas. Ride a bicycle other than on a paved vehicular road, street or path designated for that purpose.
– City of Greenville Ordinances, Chapter 26, Article II, Sec 26-37 (Code 1985, § 3-1-4; Code 1997, § 26-37)

(Not in South Carolina? Here you go.)

Phrased alternatively, do not yell at a bicyclist to “get off the road”, “use the $%&@! sidewalk”, swerve toward them aggressively, etc.

We are road users. We are sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, offspring, teachers, students, business owners, neighbors, friends and spouses, and we’re taxpayers (don’t even start with me on that one). We’re fellow humans doing something different than you, not to be confused with your Mortal Enemy or someone you need to lecture.

We’re not going anywhere, and we’re not going to stop asking you: please be nice, and just try not to kill us. That’s literally all we’re asking of you.

(The fact that some cyclists run stop signs, get in your way, are hard to see, or generally piss you off has nothing to do with what I am talking about here. Don’t take out your road rage on the rest of us.)

 

Still too many words? DBAA.

 

Also, I’m getting really good at memorizing license plates.

 

Thanks,

 

That cyclist who yelled right back at you today

An open letter to my fellow road users

Podcastaway

Winter break has finally arrived, and I’m catching up on crafternoons and favorite podcasts before heading off to Mexico for a week. One in particular that I’ve discovered recently and that has really sucked me in is Off Peak, a podcast about the transit system in LA.

Yeah, there’s even a part of me that says wow, how is that an entire podcast topic? But that’s kind of the point in a way, because there are these hidden worlds we would otherwise know nothing about, and although they’re all centered around LA, I’m nonetheless fascinated over here on the east coast. The most recent episode was “The First Woman Everything”, about a woman who achieved many firsts in the public transit realm. To be honest, it’s taken me a few weeks to get around to listening to it. But it blew my mind, and I highly recommend it (and the other episodes as well; another favorite is episode 2, “Roads Were Not Built for Cars”). Even though I read about alternative transportation all the time, I find myself constantly drawn in time and again by how transit is so deeply entwined with civil rights and social issues in our culture and history. Gives me lots of deep thoughts to ponder on my longer rides.

Of course if we’re talking podcast recommendations, I have to also plug the Joyride Podcast again in case you missed my previous post about getting to talk to Cat about bike commuting, and the Spokesmen podcast actually tipped me off to Off Peak in the first place. If you’re hibernating a bit this winter or otherwise looking for new podcast material, I’m also digging Undone, Radiolab and Revisionist History.

 

Podcastaway

Speak up, legs

Sometimes I can be kind of morbid. I woke up this morning, stretched, and my first conscious thought of the day was “wow this feels good. I’m glad I’m alive, one day I will be dead and I won’t be able to enjoy things like stretching.”

Which some people might find depressing, but it’s true. They say two things in life are inevitable, death and taxes. But you might be Donald Trump, in which case you can avoid paying taxes, which just leaves death. So at least until we hit the singularity, one day you will die.

…That escalated quickly. Sorry if you just wanted some ideas for bike commuter clothes or helmet suggestions. Those are coming soon, I promise.

But I saw this video today and well, damn. We live in these fabulous bodies that can do such amazing things, and now the fourth leading cause of death is that we aren’t using them.

So the next time I’m suffering up a long hill, I’m going to try to swear less, feel the burn, and laugh at myself a little. I won’t say “shut up legs”, more like “I hear you, but I’m going to use you while I can. Also, there is beer at the end of this, so go a little faster please.”

 

Ok, I’m done. Carpe diem, y’all!

 

 

Speak up, legs