But if you try sometime, you just might find … (yeah, you know the rest of that one)

By Sarah Hansing

Get a good dose of vitamin D on the Wilder Ranch State Park fire road climbs! Photo: Julie Kanagy

Get a good dose of vitamin D on the Wilder Ranch State Park fire road climbs! Photo: Julie Kanagy

Ah … the magic of the forced march mountain bike ride.

It was REALLY windy. I was unmotivated. It was really windy. It was overcast. It was really windy. To put it quite simply, I didn’t WANT to go for a bike ride. (In large part, because it was really windy).

But it was my day off, and I knew I’d feel a bit better if I went out for at least a quick spin. Overcoming the urge to lay on my bed and just THINK about riding a bike was victory number one. Victory number two, putting on cycling kit and getting my bike out of the garage.  

I started to get stumped on stage three of Operation Victory for the Day though.   

Despite living and riding here for years, I suddenly developed a very acute case of rider’s block: I totally blanked on just what direction I intended to point the bike.  

I just stood in my driveway, leg thrown over the top tube of my bike … and just stood there some more. And kept standing there. I was ruminating about all of my favorite trails (should I just ride my usual loop?). I was thinking about pedaling over to the east side (I guess I could do that). I was thinking about hitting up the fire road climbs in Wilder (but fire road climbs in the wind … ewww).

Somehow in the midst of my pondering, the wind picked up even more and as a result some of the clouds parted, a tiny piece of blue sky peeked through the clouds, and the sun finally made an appearance! My motivation slightly increased. I pretty much run on solar power, and the past few grey days had left me craving some sunshine.

I had a clear choice to make: If I chose to hit the usual trails, I could pretty much get myself into the trees and out of the wind. However, if I wanted to soak up as much sun as possible, I would need to hit the fire road climbs and stay out of the shade of tree cover.

This was one of those situations that I do not care for, in that I didn’t get to have ALL of the things I wanted: I had to choose. Wind and sun on the fire road, or calm and dark in the woods.

“Yeah yeah yeah, I get it. Another life lesson,” I muttered as I clipped into my pedals and headed off into the wind towards some sunny climbing.

We don’t always get to have ALL of the things we want. And if we wait for all of the conditions to be just perfect, we might just end up standing in our figurative driveway with our leg thrown over the top tube indefinitely.

Yesterday the wind was a fight the entire time. But you know what? I didn’t even mind the climb. I was riding in the sunshine.


​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 singlet​rack, wrenching on bikes, and hanging out with her jerk-face but adorable cat Harlan. (Who is a jerk.)