On the morning of January 1, I rode my bicycle. Not because it was my New Year’s resolution though. Don’t be ridiculous.
What is it about making a resolution that just feels like you’re setting yourself up to struggle, flail around for a while in angst and eventually give up because none of us have the willpower we think it takes? Why do we all make resolutions on January 1, but neglect the newness of the other 364 beautiful days each year? Why do we all use the word “should” so often, reminding ourselves subconsciously that we’re not good enough, we’re not doing enough, or we’ll be better if we’re different?
These are the thoughts I had on my bike on January 1, riding with two people I love and appreciate. Two people who have felt like home to me, and have made two wheels feel equally home-y to me since I’ve known them. Bike muses? Yep, you could say that. Sorry if it’s weird, Karim.
I don’t like to make resolutions, because I believe in working on becoming a better person, pursuing a life I want to live and what makes me happy every single day. Not just once a year, at the very beginning. Who made up that rule, anyway?
Purely so I would remember the date in 2018, I started my car-free year on January 1. Ask Aly – my memory is that of an 80-year old woman, as is my passion for being in bed by 9 p.m. and my fake age on Facebook. But, unlike the majority of resolutions made in America every year, I will have to keep this one beyond February 7. Way beyond it. I’ve pledged myself to New Belgium and they have promised to hold me accountable. Oh, and also they’re taking my car. There’s that, too.
11 days in and I got to ride in my first spontaneous San Diego “rain storm”. Thinking it was only a small drizzle and I could easily pedal the two miles to my client meeting without getting too drenched, I ignorantly set off on what was a very familiar bike ride to me. Didn’t I look naive and pleasant?
Flash forward ten minutes. Good thing my clients love me… and have extra XL shirts at the office.
But the truth is, I knew it was raining when I left the comfort of Mixte’s heated, dry office. I wanted to ride in the rain (even though I will admit, I did not know just how much rain I was signing up for, and how a very small amount of rain feels like a torrential thunderstorm when you’re on a bike and used to the San Diego drought). I wanted to ride in the rain because, as cheesy as it sounds, it felt refreshing. I wanted to ride in the rain because this year isn’t about finding ways to avoid the challenges of being a bike commuter. I wanted to ride in the rain because I wanted to experience all aspects of life by bike, not just the good ones. Or the dry ones.
As m’lady Ani DiFranco says,
The only way out is through.
(Or maybe, in very select cases, carpooling with a friend.)