Been a minute since I last posted, but I’ve been a commuting fool. Loco even, or so it seems sometimes. As I sit here in my warm, dry house, eating some killer homemade vegan chili (prepared by my girlfriend, Kelly <3), I think about my commute home today, and all of those I've done since beginning commuting, once again, back in early March.
If you are from Ohio, you know, if not, Spring is nasty here, to say the least, especially this Spring. I couldn't have picked a more uncomfortable time to start commuting again. It has all been about being out of that place the ego likes to protect, my "comfort zone". It has been nothing but windy, cold, and rainy. Now don't get me wrong, there have been some really "ideal" days of little wind, no rain, warm temps, and much sun, but only a small fraction of days. The majority being the former. Today really hit me in regards to that "comfort zone", this not being to worst of my days, but in the top 5. It was cold, rainy, and windy this morning, as well as the ride home. I'm about 90% prepared for commuting in this kind of weather, I lack waterproof shoe covers and light weight waterproof pants, but this hasn't stopped me from commuting.
It's during these cool, wet commutes that I get a bit introspective about why I put myself through it. I see those car dwellers in their warm, dry, wind free transports. The ego also sees this, and creeps in and asks " why can't we be comfy like that?" Now let's not forget, it's not just about the elements when it comes to our "comfort zone", it's also about safety and security. It isn't only vulnerability to the elements, it's realistically putting yourself in harms way everyday. Getting out there on a bike, and going into traffic and asserting your right to be there, is dangerous. The ego knows all of this and will do anything and everything to keep you in your car.
I feel that pull to drive my car, but since I've pushed through and ridden in the crappiest weather for 2 1\2 months, it's almost like I reached a sort of bike "enlightenment". It's where I can see the ego doing it's best to protect itself, and being able to acknowledge it and see it really has no power, get on my bike and pedal. I now feel like I would be cheating if I drive, it's actually easier to get on the bike, even on crappy days.
I love being on my bike, because once you get a taste of the freedom that comes from pedaling outside your comfort zone, you want to keep doing it. The connection you get to your surroundings and the people you meet and greet, is truly priceless, it makes you human again. You see other people, all people, panhandlers, homeless, rich, poor, city workers, etc. You can wish people a "good morning\evening!", a "Hi!", a wave, and even a smile. This is something I appreciate deeply, it nourishes the soul.
Being on my bike is my new comfort zone.
That's all I have right now, I'm sleepy. Thanks for listening to me rant, I appreciate it!
Patrick- SSD Crew