The Balance: I Don’t Think We’re Good For Each Other This Time of Year

Winter can be a tough time to balance the desire to ride and the reality of making it happen. Sometimes the best thing for a rider and their bike are time apart, even if the feeling isn't the same.

Photo by Matt Miller.

I miss the good times we had this summer. My legs wrapped around you for hours at a time, three, four, sometimes five days a week. Sometimes we’d just go down the block for a quickie. Actually, that was most of our time together. They were brief escapes from life where I’d pay less attention to my inbox, dust on the shelves, and finding missing Tupperware lids.

When we were lucky and had time, we’d go out of town just to spend a weekend together. You’d lean against the car, knowing exactly how to work your angles. I’d lean back in my polyester chair and worship your lines with a drink in my hand while the sun dusted your outline with its warm light. I’d even let my buddies gaze and run their fingers over you. You didn’t mind.

You got the blood moving to my legs, and my heart, and to my arms and my brain and made me feel alive. Some of my best ideas and inspiration for work came when we were going somewhere together, usually on the way up to a summit of some sort.

When we reached the top, it was our moment. We did it together and sometimes people were surprised at how fast we made it. We spent so much time together that I knew just how you would respond to my touch. I’d lean forward a little when we were trying something really hard on the way up because I knew it made things a little easier for you. When we went down, you relaxed and made things easier for me. We were in it together.

It wasn’t all chocolates, and roses, though. You got sick on me a few times over the year. I always did my best to get you help quickly and tend to your sore spots so we could find our rhythm again. Occasionally, it took longer than either of us liked, but it’s important to know that I never meant to hurt you.

Photo by Matt Miller.

Things are a little different right now, though. I just don’t have the energy for this relationship this time of year. I pour over weather information and ten-day forecasts and then make bad guesses about when we’ll get to spend time together again. Even though we don’t do too much together anymore, you’re still riding through my head non-stop. Mentally, it’s exhausting.

The pervasiveness and intensity of my thoughts almost suggest that I should seek help. It’s kind of like a game of whack-a-mole, except I never connect the mallet with a gopher’s head.

I’ve been messing around on you a little bit. You’re well aware, since you see me walk out the door with a duffel bag, a heavy coat, and a ventless helmet once every week or two. I have to in order to manage the expectations of our relationship, even though the feeling is rarely the same. There are more lines, more people, and when I do reach a flow state, I don’t have to sweat as much for it.

Although it’s a bad time for you and me, and others and theirs, a star shines in the dark night. Spring begins next month. I think we can get back to our regular selves again, ya know? I’m willing to give it another shot if you are because I think this could be our best year yet. Oh, who are we kidding? It’s always been on me.

Related articles

  1. What gets Cold First When Mountain Biking in Winter? [Survey]
  2. Race Report: The 2015 Talkeetna Trio
  3. 8 Key Tips for Enjoying Winter Mountain Biking
  4. How bad do you want it... really?