Monday, December 19, 2011

To Make Good

I confess. I don't like riding my bikes in bad weather. It's not a problem that I have. It's a problem with my bikes. Or maybe it's a problem that I have. I don't like to get my bikes dirty and grimy. I know they're just bikes and I know they are stouter than I am and I still don't like to get them dirty. I can't stand the thought of dirt and grime and moisture and crud working their way into my components. But I'm going to get out there this afternoon and ride in the dirt and grime and moisture and crud in the 27 degree cold with the 8 mph wind and the blowing snow that seems more like frozen smog and I'm going to get my bike dirty.

I don't quite understand the mystique surrounding Rapha and their cycling gear. I'm probably not a Rapha type guy when it comes to cycling. I don't think I can afford to be one after all but Rapha had a good idea and I'm planning to be a part of it and because of that I better get used to getting my bike dirty. I'm talking about the The Festive 500 "Ride To Redemption". Hmm. Redemption. Sounds pretty dramatic and I thought it was a noble idea. Ride 500 km between December 23 and December 31st to close out 2011.

I don't know if the weather and the snow will cooperate, but if I can get my bike out safely on the road during that time I will do my best to log 500 km. I admit I had to load up the km to miles conversion calculator to figure out that would be 311 miles of riding or an average of around 35 miles per day during that time. We will see. Hopefully the weather will cooperate a bit and I can get out there and "escape the clutches of Holiday indulgence" as Rapha puts it and redeem myself.

Redemption. Merriam-Webster defines it as: the act, process or an instance of redeeming. Apparently it's a noun but what the heck does that mean? Again Merriam-Webster: redeeming is an adjective and it is defined as serving to offset or compensate for a defect. OK. And redeem: (a verb) To buy back. To get or win back. To free from what distresses or harms. To extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental. To clear. To free from the consequences of sin. To change for the better: Reform - Repair - Restore. To make good. Fulfill. To atone for. To offset the bad effect of. To make worthwhile. Expiate.

Apparently there's a lot to redemption. I can handle a change for the better and a little making good. I can handle a little win back and a little fulfillment. I need to offset the bad effect of a lot of stuff especially this time of year. I need to overcome something(s) detrimental and I need some worthwhile. Will 311 miles on the bike in the cold get the job done? I'm not sure if 311 miles is enough and I'm not sure I'll even be able to do that.

All I know is that the bike will be getting dirty and I will be expiating. I guess that's what riding in the winter is all about anyway. Expiating. My wife called a moment ago and asked if it was still spitting snow and I told her yes. "Are you still going riding today? I'll still think you're manly if you don't." Thanks I told her but I'm still going for a ride today.

What I didn't tell her was why. What I didn't tell her is that I really need to be out there today. I really need to get out there today and offset or compensate for my defects. I really need to buy back or win back or overcome. Clear and free and change for the better. Reform. Repair. Restore. Fulfill. I really need to make worthwhile. Expiate. I need to make good. I need redemption and it can't wait for December 23rd.


  1. HI Steve: One of my best rides happened last night. Fluffy lite snow flakes coming down on a nice 35f evening. Only problem was the 25 or so miles just wasn't enough.

    And your wife is just a doll! Manly. Perfect. Told the nice gal at the coffee shop the other night when asked if I was cold.. nope, I'm a hardman... to which she flashed me her pretty little smile. Wonder if she cycles too?


  2. Oh plus bicycles are meant to get dirty! One of the best things about a dirty bicycle means you get to clean it up. Wheels and drivetrain come off. Citrus cleaner and soft rags come out an wipe the grime off as you carefully inspect every inch of the machine. Than once clean you beam with pride and can't wait to wheel it out the door to start it all over again.