When I sat down to write this post, I looked at the previous two and realized that I had been using the title “Wheelin’.” Seems slightly more appropriate to use “Pedalin’”!
My totals for the month of April*:
16 days on the bike
5 days driving the car
April, while beautiful, was a tough month. The winds were almost as strong as in March. At one point, I almost fell off my bike during my ride when a big gust hit me from the left. Seriously. Another day, I happened to look out the window at work and saw my bicycle up-ended again. Worried that the basket would come off like before, I ran out to grab it.
The rain, however, was the biggest challenge for me. I don’t really like riding in the rain, mostly because it can get cold and I hate having the rain hit me hard in the face while I ride. It rained so often here last month that I honestly felt like I was living in Portland! Those 5 days in the car were almost all because I just didn’t want to deal with getting wet. But…for the most part, I braved it, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. One day, I forgot my rain gear and was SOAKED by the time I got home. You can bet that I never left the house again without my windbreaker, water-proof pants and rain poncho.
The BEST part about riding in April, however, is something that is worth all the discomfort of the wind and rain – and then some. The budding trees and bulbs made every single day magical. I couldn’t believe how gorgeous everything was. The pink and white trees. The tulips and hyacinths and irises and daffodils. Absolute glory. Even watching the buds cascade down from the trees during a gray-skied wind storm was beautiful in ways I can’t describe. It was like riding through a fairy land.
I always try to stay as present as possible during these changing times – April and October. The beauty of the flowers or the changing leaves is so fleeting that I try to soak in every second while I can. I take pictures, pause to watch the way branches sway in the breeze, stop to smell the buds. On one beautiful Sunday, I was walking with a friend, commenting on the trees when she said, “I just love to stop and listen to them.” I thought she was talking about the wind or something, but when we paused to listen, I heard something much louder: Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. My little gardener’s heart did a backflip to see the tree completely crawling with bees!
My bicycle got a little baptism, of sorts, as well. I gave her her first bath last weekend. After all that rain and mud, she needed it! And while scrubbing her down, I realized I hated her name. (Some of you may remember that when I first got her, I named her Claire, simply because the word Clairmont is written on her frame. Yeah, original, I know!) Her new name is Madeleine. Let’s see if that one sticks! Seems to suit her more, I think.
So, despite the rain, it has been a wonderful month of bicycle commuting!
*These totals only reflect my workday commutes. I don’t count weekends in these tallies. During the winter, I tend to average between 50/50 and 40/60 with the bike and car, respectively. In the summer and early fall, I tend to do almost all my errands on the bicycle.