I didn't ride my bike today. Yes, it was cold. Yes, I woke up tired. But none of those tripped me up.
To ride to work everyday requires you to develop a routine, to make it a habit. Those of you who drive most everyday already have habits that get you ready for the drive into work. Those of us who ride do also.
The night before I check the morning temperature, pick out appropriate bike clothing, stuff my backpack with whatever needs to go to work, etc.These days we're running into quickly changing morning temps so guessing what to wear is a bit tricky. Plug in the headlight to the charger. Pump up the tires as needed (drivers just assume their car's ready to roll.)
This is all stuff you've heard before and it's important that this becomes a routine. Because when you drag yourself out of bed it's rather easy to say " I'll think I'll just drive today." If your clothing and bike are ready you can just roll with the routine and before you know it you're rolling out of the garage on 2 wheels instead of 4.
But today I found being prepared means more than addressing the bike. The rest of your life conspires to screw up your commuting. The simple words "The cats are out of food" can throw every best-laid plan to waste. Instead of dressing for the ride you dress for going to the store. You spend time driving to the store and when you return your roll-out time is delayed by as much as a half hour, not to mention you still have to undress and redress to ride. The combination of these things means you're going to drive to work, not bike. Frustrating. But that's life. So tomorrow's another day.
But today, I didn't ride my bike.
This is an ongoing series about riding to work, in Indianapolis, in the winter and beyond. Look for guest blogs by commuters who have been doing it for years.