As I got up and got breakfast going, I thought about the core principles that brought me here- to organizing indoor group rides with Vermont Indoor Cycling, to taking on Kidical Mass, to starting Vermont Bicycles United.
1. Decide what to do.
2. Do it.
That's it. Done is better than perfect. Decide to go for a bike ride. Tell people about it. Go for a bike ride.
We cyclists tend to over-complicate things. We buy all kinds of gear.We obsess over just the right sort of infrastructure we ought to be advocating for, or what our tire pressure ought to be, or just the right chain cleaning and maintenance regime. We debate about the best way to get drivers to like us better. Those things have their place and can be important. But they aren't why we got into this. We got into this because bikes are awesome.
|April 6. 8:00AM. 23 degrees. 20mph winds out of the north. Ready to go.|
I put my two-year-old son into his boots, snow pants, neckwarmer, jacket and helmet. We decided to ride from the railroad shelter on the Burlington Bike Path, initially because I thought April might mean a rainy day. It felt more like mid February. Any doubts I had were quelled when my son saw the bike and trailer out. He knew- we were going on a bike ride together. He got even more excited when he saw his balance bike lashed to the back of the trailer. We were going somewhere where he could ride, too!
I'm not going to sugar-coat it. it was cold, and it was really windy. We wound our way from our South Burlignton home down to the waterfront. Thankfully, Chapin at Local Motion had offered to come by and open up his Steele Street office as a warm-up spot. We had a nice chat about coordinating with them on future rides, which should only help us make them bigger and better in the future.
Then, the best thing of all happened. Other people showed up! A couple from South Burlington and their daughter were there, every bit as bundled up as we were! We made some introductions, and we were off. Given the hard wind, we weren't really sure if we were going to make it to North Beach or not, but the next wonderful thing happened just as we passed the boathouse. We found ourselves in a place of relative calm as the hill blocked the wind. A very easy and short cruise later, the six of us were at the playground at North Beach.
We had it all to ourselves. The sun sparkled and warmed our faces, the Adirondacks gleamed in the distance, and the air was mercifully still. The kids played. When we were done, we rode off on our separate ways. I had an ear-to-ear grin.
1. I said I was going to do a bike ride.
2. I showed up to do the bike ride.
3. Somebody else thought it was a good idea, and they showed up, too.
4. Best of all, we rode bikes. Together.
I can't wait to see where this goes on May 4. With any luck we'll be bigger and better, and the weather will be even more cooperative.