Ah, the year ahead...what will it bring? It's taken a year, but I've finally fully embraced us being a one car family. We've done it for a year and there's no reason not to keep it going indefinitely. The past month I've really started to evolve into being a cyclist again.
Some thoughts from the Bike Snob:
Definition of a cyclist: (1) a person who rides a bicycle even when he or she doesn't have to; (2) a person who values the act of riding a bicycle over the tools one needs in order to do it.
The cyclist opts for the bicycle even when other means of transportation are available.
While many cyclists love bikes, loving bikes doesn't necesarily make you a cyclist.
Most importantly, a cyclist is a person who has incorporated bicycles and cycling into his or her everyday life.
In the beginning, after we got rid of my car I still wasn't really a cyclist. I was a guy who rode a bike every once in awhile. I was a wannabe. I had the gear and I played at being a cyclist. I had previously been a full blown cyclist when I lived in Dayton, Ohio and subsequently when I moved back down to Slade. The Cannonball carried me where I needed to go for a couple of years.
But then I got away from riding the bike and after I was married I let the Cannonball sit and gather dust for a few years. I just got caught up in other things and I finally owned (and believed I needed) a car. In fact, I could never have gotten through college without one.
Recently I've thought back to those days when I drove from Stanton to Lexington to work at UPS and then on to Richmond to school for the day only to return home completing the last leg of a 100+ mile triangle. I never want to have to do that again on a regular basis.
So anyway, I'm confident that I'll continue to be a cyclist. I will continue to use the bike even when I have other options, and I won't let adverse weather or darkness or distance quell my resolve. In the past two months I've successfully plowed through rain, wind, cold and snow. I've ridden in darkness with confidence and I've ridden many times when it would have been so much easier to just jump in the car.
I have to admit, tonight I opted to drive down to the grocery store to pick up some ginger ale for a couple of upset stomachs. I could have ridden, and almost did, but I myself didn't feel great before dinner tonight and being a little woozy combined with the darkness and single digit temps pushed me behind the wheel. I didn't feel too bad about driving tonight though. I think its probably been two months since I've drove to the store and I've probably been a dozen times or more.
If there had been no car I know I may have opted not to go to the store at all, or I may have sucked it up and gone on the bike after all. I'm confident that I'll continue to choose the bike even though I didn't tonight. I wouldn't really say tonight was a relapse.
2011 is going to be a good year. Bike Arvada is going to grow. Mandy and I are planning a bike-packing trip for June while the kids are visiting family back east. I'm planning on doing some long term training for the 2012 Leadville 100 and of course Tom and I are going to volunteer for the 2011 ride in August.
My goal is to ride to work every day in 2011. I know there may be days I'll be sick. I know there is the possibility I may injure myself. And I realize there might just be a day when it doesn't make sense for me to ride. The goal is to ride every day I work. I won't be wussing out because I am tired or sniffly or because it happens to be raining when I wake up. I'll choose the bike when there is a choice to be made. And I'll choose the bike to go to the store, take the kids to the library or to go to the bike shop. I will.