No, I'm not getting into ironically notable-by-way-of-obscurity '80's bands (although, now that that's come up I could do with some Journey, Steve Perry's falsetto really is the greatest thing ever). No, I'm talking about rediscovering something a little more significant to me. It's not that I forgot about bike riding, or even that I haven't been riding, just not the way I was a couple months ago. Blame the earlier sunset, the cold, the wet, the snow, whatever, for many reasons I'm not putting many miles on lately.
Concurrent with my drop in mileage, I've been in a %&$#ing SHITTY mood of late (ask my friends and co-workers, no one can really stand to be around me right now). There are also a number of reasons for that, grad school and certain members of the opposite sex playing somewhat significant roles in my ill temper, but there is definitely a correlation between my mood and my mileage. Today was particularly bad, and I walked (ok I stomped, like a toddler having a tantrum) out of my lab around 5:00 pm and hopped on my fixie just because I couldn't really handle anything else at that point.
I wasn't really headed anywhere, the sun was setting, and the temps were starting to drop below thirty, so I certainly wasn't planning on putting on any significant mileage. However, this being Montana, and me being a dedicated bike commuter, I did have the lights, clothes, and studded tires to handle pretty much any of the standard winter-time barriers against doing some riding. I headed south out of town. By around mile five I was feeling really good and I realized that a ride, a real ride was exactly what I needed.
I made my favorite post-work way-home south-of-town loop, and got back into Bozeman feeling warmed up and better than I have in a few days. I certainly wasn't in any rush to get off of my bike. By this point, I was remembering all those conversations I'd had with various friends over the years regarding the malaise of not riding for a while, and I decided to keep going. I headed north. I hit up some snowpacked trails, and some rutted out gravel roads. I spun over sections of desolate asphalt and navigated traffic-filled highways. My trusty little LED headlight illuminating just enough road to allow me to navigate the terrain, but also leaving a few unseen surprises, just to keep it all interesting. I hammered up climbs and spun out coming down the other side. I spent a couple hours listening to the cacophonous sound of my frenetic thoughts being tempered by the soothing bzzzz of my studded tires. I rode back into Bozeman, exhausted, and chasing traffic from stop light to stop light. My legs were like lead weights from spinning a 42x15, studded tire adorned fixie, for around thirty miles, and the rest of me felt good, real good.
I rode my bike. I haven't done that in a while, not really. I'm still stressed about this and that, but I remembered what it seems I'd forgotten.