Jul 27, 2009

Packing Your Fears

There is an old adage in the camping/canoeing world that whatever you are afraid of is what's making you pack too heavy. If you are afraid of being cold, you will pack too many sweaters; if you are afraid of getting lost, you will probably pack an extra compass, a GPS, and several extra sets of batteries. If you are afraid of being hungry, you bring too much food. And so it goes...

As I mentioned in the previous post, I am quite pleased with where I have gotten myself to re: commuting. My fears are now turning towards losing ground come winter. At present, the bike is the quickest, easiest way to work. Come winter, I doubt it will be either the quickest or the easiest. But I still want to give it a go, partly because I am in decent shape (for me) right now and don't want to lose that, and partly because I know it can be done.

I have been taking inventory of my fears about winter and it comes down to three things:
  1. The Dark
  2. The Cold
  3. The (lack of) Motivation
The Dark and The Cold can be remedied with money and money/trial-and-error (respectively). The (lack of) Motivation is a little more difficult to control. Still, recognizing this is a good step for now.

I added some fenders my used Marin mountain bike this weekend and re-purposed a spare cargo rack to that bike with an eye towards making that the winter/ugly weather bike. I am currently researching some light options as well. The light I currently have is good for getting caught out after dark, but being afraid of the dark, it doesn't seem quite like what I want to face winter with. There are a number of ways I could go and it's more about price point than anything else, it seems.

The motivation work comes from writing this all down and putting it out there as a dare to myself.


  1. The hardest part of commuting in the winter is the motivation part i.e., getting my hairy hinder on the bike and taking the first dozen pedal strokes. Once moving, I'm good but to get on and ride is what takes a lot to overcome. Each year I ride a little more and the months off have turned to weeks and I expect this year that the weeks will be lessened, not to mere days, but more in the saddle and less in the bus/car.

    Eating breakfast and having a cup of tea/coffee before helps the motivation considerably...

  2. Brother Yam, thank you for your wise counsel.