One of my New Year's Resolutions was to ride my bike to work at least once this year. Today I accomplished that resolution. Or, since I'm still at work, I've accomplished 1/2 of that resolution, with no deux ex machina in sight to help me not complete it. (However. It could still rain, and then I would Have To Call.)
Since my house is 12 miles from work as the crow flies, and 14-16 miles as the crow bikes, assuming the crow prefers to avoid hills and major streets just like I do, this is a major undertaking, one which has involved several stages of mental involvement. Here is a summary of those stages:
Stage 1. Preparation. Plotting routes, fretting, packing, tossing and turning in eager anticipation. I usually bring my lunch and purse in several ungainly handbags, so I had to break out the backpack. While I was at it, I packed my lunch (and Si's, and Helen's school swim bag, and I did the dishes, and then I got crabby and stomped around the house feeling put upon and overworked). Duration: approximately 4 days, greatly intensifying in the past 24 hours.
Stage 2. Delight. As I set off this morning (at 6:20), I couldn't stop smiling. The mountains were beautiful. The stormy clouds were beautiful. The early-morning gardens were beautiful. I saw a fox, and people walking their dogs, and big beds of blooming irises, and green meadows. The view in places (I was riding west, toward the mountains) was spectacular. Duration: 45 minutes.
Stage 3: Exhaustion. My legs started to hurt. Everything was uphill. I just wanted to take a break but I couldn't because a) I was already kind of late for work and b) I was right on a busy street and I didn't want to be a total obvious wimp. Duration: 45 minutes.
Stage 4: Grim soldiering on. The last mile was TOTALLY uphill. The only way I could do it and not stop or walk was to count to one hundred, over and over, and also remind myself that this was good exercise. Duration: 10 minutes.
Stage 5: Smug relief and pride. I rode my bike to work! I am so totally badass! Should I put my helmet right on my desk where everyone can see, or should I just announce on the intercom how awesome I am? Duration: 2 or 3 hours, until I realized that nobody actually cared.
Stage 6: Nervousness. How the hell am I going to get home? Duration: 6 hours, to present.
Stage 7: Exhaustion; also, overwhelming desire to take a nap. Duration: hard to tell, since I'm too sleepy to read the clock.
Stage 8: Help me.
Anyway, it's been fun. Hope to make it home.