This year I have cycled 3229 kilometers. This is the most I have ever managed to accumulate in a year and, funnily enough, it just does not seem that much to me. Back in March when I decided it was time to start cycling, I felt like it was time to make a big change in my life. And I did.
This year I am living the healthiest I have ever been. I have more strength and endurance than ever, and even if I am very tired every so often, I rest quickly and recover even faster.
Now that these first 3000 kilometers of the year have passed, I am constantly thinking about the road ahead: The winter months. This will be the very first time I will be commuting and going places in a bicycle during winter, and I have decided that my weapon of choice will be a fixed gear bike — which is very different from the general recommendation of using a mountain bike to do this.
I am not necessarily scared, but more anxious with anticipation. This is a time when all I can think about is if the clearance of my frame will be enough for the fenders I intend to buy, and if these will be even usable after I switch from my summer to my winter tires, which are a few millimeters larger in size. The relevance that this has to basically anything else in my existence is minuscule, and it is entertaining to think about how small this is compared to other issues in my life. And yet it manages to get more of my attention in this moment.
There are many factors that I have never considered for winter cycling, and the prospect is nothing short of exciting. In a few months I will be looking at the sunrise from my bicycle every morning as I go to work, and every morning I will feel a little bit accomplished that I purposely missed the staleness of the subway and instead managed to get a tiny little workout out of it. The months to come will be a challenge. In the meantime, it is time to take it easy with fall leaves, and a decent amount of layers on me.
Fall is a very good time for cycling: Not only is there very little risk of dehydration, there is also something about staying warm while working out, and protecting oneself from the elements. The streets are clean, and there are less people outside at all times: All in all, it is a better time to enjoy riding a bicycle compared to the frantic days of summer, where there are cyclists everywhere.
Sunrises every morning are magnificent, and the sunsets make me want to climb to the highest part of the city just to spot and admire them. People are more careful and there are less problems to worry about.
It is great to be a cyclist. Soon to be a year-long cyclist.