Monday, February 18, 2008

The Cycle of Life

Biking (cycling?) is a constant in my life, these days. It is my primary mode of transportation. The days that I jump in the truck and drive to class or to the grocery store are exceptional.

I actually feel badly when I give in and drive somewhere - unless it's because of the weather. Even then, I'm regretful if the weather report was "off." I wish I'd been more ...insightful or something.

I regret it in all of the silly and substantive ways it's possible to regret such a thing. I regret the pollutants I've unnecessarily put into the air by driving a gas-guzzling suv short distances. I regret not passing the, for lack of a better descriptor, pioneer test.

The "pioneer" part, to me, represents the people who did and do live rough and without modern technological conveniences. If they needed to get somewhere, they walked or rode a bike, and if it rained, they didn't stay home. They sucked it up.

Maybe it's because I'm a man, but there's a big part of me that feels the need to be able to negotiate life's and nature's obstacles in a natural fashion. If food was unavailable, could I catch what my family needs? If the law of the land was suspended, could I protect my loved ones and property?

Anyway, biking is important to me. And apparently, it's good for me.

In addition to being good exercise, it requires competent, meticulous planning.

I've got to get up and cook so I've got enough strength to bike 6-12 miles, most weekdays.
I've got to remember to check the weekly, daily, and hourly weather reports so I know how to dress.
Like a woman going from purse-to-purse, I've got to switch my belongings around, depending on the situation and conditions - from my jacket (cold, rain) to my book bag (larger textbooks, etc.) to a smaller, more portable bag or case (traveling light), or combinations thereof.
I've got to plan any and all errands in-advance so that I don't have to cover the same ground multiple times.

If you drive to the post office, but forgot that today's Presidents' Day, you can just drive back the next day. You may recall the inconvenience long enough to complain about it a little, but it's relatively easy to forget the lesson learned.

If you bike to the post office, as I did today, and then realize that your poor planning meant you had to bike the rest of the way to class, then back home, with an extra 25 pounds of packages, you'll damn-well remember next time. The consequences of poor planning "hurt" a bit more. You feel them more deeply.

I'm still feeling them, now. And that's a good thing, because it helps me keep my $#!+ together.

1 comment:

B. Good said...

LOL, nice perspective. I'm sorry you had to cart those packages all over creation! Lesson learned, indeed :)