A new semester starts tomorrow. New students and new classes will make for a fresh start in the middle of winter.
I'm sitting here, drinking fresh-brewed Smokejumper, letting the black magic settle in to my system. I have added new routines to my mornings with checking the weather and planning for the clothing needed for the day's commuting. I rode the Xtracycle in the headwinds yesterday. I had to grab 10 lbs. of hydraulic cement from Lowes and I wasn't about to let that break my commuting schedule. The reality of that decision struck home as I hit tremendous headwinds while riding up a long climb. And then to add insult to injury, the wind blew so hard that I had to pedal downhill in order to keep from being blown to a stop.
The Xtracycle always gets curious looks. The overall look of the bicycle is so noticeably altered that even the most casual glance sees the difference. Many of my coworkers checked it out and wanted to ask questions about it. I love those conversations that come from people being curious. I love to talk about bikes and riding, especially rides with everyday purpose.
What I don't like is the recent tendency of coworkers to feel compelled to explain to me why they can't ride a bike to work. While the reasons are many that I have been given, none states the fact that the person doesn't normally ride a bike to begin with. I will talk passionately about commuting and cycling in general for as long as I have a voice, but I don't look down on people for not doing it. I wish more people would ride bikes, obviously, but not riding isn't a sore spot for me. No, the person in the H3 Hummer that pulls up beside me at the light at Smith's Crossroads and then floors the accelerator like a drag racer when the light turns green, now that person makes me feel bad for humanity.