Well, I think Southeast Michigan has officially settled into a Winter abyss.
Last week that freezing rain messed up sidewalks and streets, and then, after they were clear and “walkable” again, my car needed a run more than I needed a walk so off WE went. Next, the deep freeze arrived, and, though the sidewalks and streets have been clear and dry, the air temps and wind chills were downright brutal. I’ve been taking the car out for a run every morning before work . I go up and down Fort Street, just like the little old lady from Pasadena, and, today I officially surpassed my walking miles (31) with my driving miles (34) for 2016 and that statistic just bums me out.
I miss my morning walking routine, but I think some warm and sunny, snow-free days are on the horizon. That buoys my spirits, but in the meantime, I had oiled up my exercise bike and have been pedaling away in the basement every day. It helps keep my legs strong and while sitting atop my high and hard bike seat, I can check out all the things I need to do in the basement. That makes me shudder for sure. Most of the time I shut my eyes to keep the dust bunnies and clutter out of my line of vision – you know “out of sight, out of mind” … but, when I open my eyes, sadly, the mess is still there.
So, between mindlessly pedaling away, I try to think summery thoughts (except pulling weeds, the bane of my existence). I remembered a photo I took as I walked along Fort Street one day last Summer. This turquoise polka-dotted bike sits outside Jim’s Hair Corral, a small hair salon in Wyandotte that is unique for its cowboy-inspired décor. I went to Jim and his wife Jill’s place for years for Jill’s TLC to my hair – expert cuts and skillful weaving of golden highlights into my layered locks. Now, I throw my hair up into a bun and have my very own little silver highlights that seem to thread through my mousy-brown hair.
Jim was very artsy-fartsy and used to take odd-shaped pieces of slate and paint them, then adorn the colorful facade with pictures and inspirational quotes. He’d fasten a wire loop on the back and they hung all over the shop. I’d get there a half-hour early just to read all the new ones, and, of course had to come home with one or two each time, most of which decorate the garden and downstairs. Jim painted this bike and stood it by a huge blackboard where he writes a happy thought or quote all year ‘round. Those words of wisdom stay on the board until it rains, or snows, and then a new thought in colorful chalk with flourishes and curlicues soon appears.
The bike, with its basket spilling over with fresh flowers all summer and evergreen boughs all Winter, caught my attention today as I zoomed past the shop in the car. It made me hanker for warm weather. I wanted to stop and calculate just how many months, weeks and days we had to wait, then go inside and get a piece of colorful chalk and write it in big letters on the now-bare chalkboard for the world to see (or at least the Downriver drivers who take this route).
But, hope does spring eternal. The days are already getting longer and the sun is setting later at night, but still a little too slow to rise in the morning, much to my chagrin.
Meanwhile, since the weather outside is frightful, I’ll just keep pedaling away, sweatin’ to the oldies with my Walkman in tow, its metal headphones clapped to my ears and the cassette/radio portion tethered to the bag on the handlebars as it has been for eons. I feel like Richard Simmons, only not quite that energetic so early in the morning.
A few years ago, during Wicked Winter #1 (2013-2014) I wrote a post about riding my bike when I finally gave up the walking regimen as the weather was just too horrid and I’d like to share it now … at least I was channeling two brilliant actresses: Kate Hepburn and Angela Lansbury … not the sweaty and ever-rambunctious Richard Simmons: https://lindaschaubblog.net/2014/02/28/back-to-the-bike-no-more-back-pedaling-on-my-nys-resolution/
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein