In just over two months I plan to ride 40 miles in Reedley’s Blossom Ride on Mar 7th. There’s just one problem. I’ve only ridden 5 miles since December 1. Four years ago, I rode 145 miles during January and February before the Blossom Ride.
Second Grade Math
I do the second-grade math I learned in my grandson Parker’s class. I have to “decompose” (isn’t that what happens with dead things?) the tens to get my answer. I still need to ride 140 miles. That doesn’t sound too unrealistic. I have almost two months.
But here’s the problem. I have to actually get on my bike. The progression on reaching that goal looks something like this.
Attempt #1. Think about it
At the end of the day I say to myself, “At least I thought about riding. That’s better than not thinking about it at all.”
Attempt #1 Results = No bide ride.
Attempt #2. Schedule it
I actually write, “bike ride,” on my calendar and “to do” list. I see it written down. I periodically glance at the reminder. “I need to ride my bike today,” I tell myself when I get up and throughout the day.
“Oh, no. I can’t ride now; I need to get ready for my appointment.”
After the appointment, I rationalize, “Cali-Cat hardly ever lets me pet her. Since she’s so happy that I’m petting her, I dare not stop.” Cali eventually moves away; however, my rear remains on the couch.
“Really? It’s already past 4:00? I can’t ride now. It’ll be too dark before I get home.”
At the end of the day I justify, “At least I tried to ride my bike today. It just didn’t work out with my schedule. Maybe tomorrow.”
Attempt #2 Results = No bike ride.
Attempt #3. Get ready for it
I decide to get dressed in my bike clothes. This is a practical idea. Why have to change later? I’ll put my bike clothes on now and be all ready for my ride. What’s the temperature? When are no-rain hours? I select the “best” ride time.
I feed the pets. Read email. Send a few emails. Edit my last blog. Pet adorable Cali-Cat sitting near my laptop. These bike clothes are getting too hot. Plus, Cali’s getting her fur all over my black bike pants. Remove outer layers.
I better finish the restorative practices training handout. And update the PowerPoint too. These clothes sure are snuggly and warm on a cold day. Makes me want to take a nap. Or at least relax before my ride.
“It’s raining? Bummer. It wasn’t supposed to rain until 5:00. I can’t ride in the rain.”
At the end of the day, I rationalize, “I was all dressed to ride. Too bad it rained. I was going to ride my bike then.”
Attempt #3 Results = No bike ride.
Attempt #4: Get on it. And ride
I can think about it . . . all day long. I can schedule it . . . and keep changing my schedule. I can get ready for it . . . and still find other things to do, especially in my comfortable clothes. Or I follow the key to winter bike riding. I get on my bike and ride.
I don’t worry about how far I’ll go. I don’t calculate how much faster I want to ride. I don’t wonder how long it will take me. I simply get on my bike and start pedaling. Then I can set goals . . . but I prefer to “just ride.”
Attempt #4 Results: I get on my bike and ride.
The key to winter bike riding is the same as for all seasons: get on my bike and ride. The more miles I ride, the better I get, the faster I can go. Whether I ride in the Blossom Ride or not depends on how many times I get on my bike and just ride.
What do you think about but don’t get done?
What do you schedule and still don’t get done?
What do you get ready for but don’t complete?
What do you need to get on and do? That’s the key in any season.