When smiles are more important than miles
By Sarah Hansing
The best intentions.
It is truly always with the best intentions that I begin a bike ride.
I mean, I LOVE riding bikes. It’s just that … it’s been a long day at work, and maybe I’m feeling just a bit run down.
BUT. My attitude has had a serious talking to and my zen / flow state of mind has been informed that it’s on-deck, and should start warming up.
It’s game time.
See now, I got home from work. I shimmied into my lycra, I put my helmet light on. I got my bike out of the garage. I pumped up my tires. (I gave myself a pep talk). I forgot my water bottle and went back inside. (I gave myself ANOTHER pep talk). I stepped out the front door and back into the darkness. With a heavy sigh I swung my leg over my top tube, clipped in and within 20 pedal strokes I just KNEW.
I knew …
I knew that I REALLY didn’t want to go on a ride. (gasp!)
Like really REALLY really really didn’t want to go. (WT–??)
And I am nothing if not stubborn. (There have been a few kind enough to call it “persistent” instead of “stubborn”) … But let’s be honest.
I’m stubborn and prideful, and I was going to be damned if I was going to turn around.
… except for the fact that four miles later, I still did NOT want to be doing what I was doing.
Look. I know that bikes are inspirational. They legitimately change lives for the better. I’m a happier, healthier and more-tolerable-to-the-people-I-love when I’m riding frequently.
But sometimes, I have to embrace the raw honesty of “This Is Dumb, I Quit”.
And this particular evening, I only made it half the distance of the ride I intended to go on.
I tried. I really REALLY tried to be all zen and shit, but I just COULDN’T. I didn’t WANT to. Pep-Talks be damned, I just wanted to go home.
So, I did.
And you know what?
It was still rad. I still got some miles, which is better than no miles. And so what if I was smiling because I had pulled up to my front door, instead of because I just crushed my Strava times?
The important thing is the smiles. If smiles are more important than miles? … well then, you’re doing it right.
Keep on doing that.
Fat Tire Tuesday columnist Sarah Hansing has been slinging wrenches as a pro bike mechanic for 15 years (with the exception of a one year stint working for Trek Bicycles in Wisconsin.) Epicenter Cycling scooped her up as their lead mechanic and the shop’s crew plans to keep her forever. Sarah loves riding singletrack, wrenching on bikes, and hanging out with her jerk-face but adorable cat Harlan. (Who is a jerk.)