Today is an unusually cold day where we live. A cold front moved in overnight and dropped the temperatures into the mid 40’s. It got so cold our bees even holed up in the hive to stay warm with no indication they even want to attempt flying out to gather pollen. That also means no riding for us. And, actually, I don’t even have the desire to ride.
I make it habit to plan rides far in advance, researching interesting destinations for day trips, weekend trips, 3 day trips, and even week long and longer trips. Doing the research far in advance allows me to plan some great rides that take us on exciting roads, great views, a purposeful destination, local eateries, etc. Some rides can take weeks to put together before I am ready to head out on the bikes and experience them. It’s enjoyable to spend the time and effort into putting the routes together. I can get as excited putting together a ride as riding it. At present I have about 30 rides planned and ready to go to choose from. All I have to do is decide how many days we have free, pick a ride, and take off.
However, for quite a few months I haven’t had the desire to do much riding. That initial excitement you get when an upcoming weekend is looking perfect for riding is no longer present. I haven’t planned a ride in weeks and haven’t had any ambition to do so. We have ridden a couple times in the last few months which I posted about and had a great time while we were out. For the most part though when the weekend nears, the antsy anticipation of taking off on the bikes is absent. I don’t know why. Even trying to get psyched up only lasts for moments. Whats even worse is Margaret is feeling the same. So the bikes sit idly in the garage plugged into their battery tenders quietly complaining that were not taking them out.
I had planned on doing the Iron Butt Association 1K ride this upcoming weekend with some friends. Now the forecast is showing rain so it might be a no go. I had requested the time off from work and if we don’t go due to weather it may be quite some time before I can get the time off from work to try again. I was hoping the IBA challenge would spark an interest in taking the bike out again but now the rain forecast might just fizzle my spark out. We could ride it in the rain but I simply have no desire to be miserable on that long of a ride in such a short time just to say, “I did it”. Getting caught in the rain while your already out is fine, starting out when its already raining is not. We’ll see what happens in the upcoming few days.
So what happened? Quite a few things possibly. We are trying hard to save so we can purchase land and riding takes a lot of money. Even a short 2-300 mile day trip can run you a $100 by the time you fill the tanks on both bikes, eat, and use a bit for whatever it is we rode to see. Do that just once a week for a month and we could have saved $400 towards the land we want. Spring also takes up a lot of our time. We keep an herb garden, vegetable garden, worm bin, compost, beehive, rain water system, etc. and spring time is action time for us to prepare and plant. So when you only have Saturday and Sunday available to work at the house, it cuts into the riding time. We also live in an older home that we are renovating in preparation to sell when and if we get to the point where we can buy land. Throw in time to do home improvements and now you are almost down to no time for riding. For us it comes down to a life priority decision and unfortunately having fun riding isn’t going to get us where we want to be and actually sets us back from our goals. Maybe that reality is affecting our feelings on riding.
Riding related events could be another reason for the fizzle. Taking a realistic look at bike related events, its the same old rerun of all the others. Rally’s have the same bike shows, cleanest bike, bike with most chrome, dirtiest bike, most custom bike, loudest bike, blah blah blah. They have the same vendors selling the same stuff, vests, gloves, pouches, bandannas, patches, jewelry, etc, etc, etc. I like to drink a beer or two but the overwhelming stench of spilled beer cooking in the sun, belching, and sweat just doesn’t sit well with me. The same run of the mill food, sausage on a stick, nachos, burgers, corn, funnel cakes, and such never changes. This applies to Harley Davidson dealer events as well, its just the same old replay. We are wanting to see and experience new sights when we go out, not a photocopy of an event with a new name attached. If you like people watching it can be all right until you start seeing the same people making their second, third, fourth, or more tour of the vendor stalls. Raffles are fine, but I would rather just purchase exactly what I’m wanting than spend money on a ticket in hopes of winning a prize I probably don’t need or wont use, just to say “YAY, I WON!”. So when a bike event is coming up I look at it and say to myself, “do I really want to ride a bit to get there, park the bike for the day, and experience the same copy-paste as the last 20+ events”? Maybe the way I’m feeling about riding right now is contributing to my attitude towards bike events…
Tour riding actually fulfills our riding desires. When you head out for a few weeks on the bikes, the sights and experiences are ever changing. When you return its very difficult to do day rides and experience the same feelings and emotions that the long trips invoke. You can chase that high with day rides but it falls short. The problem with taking longer trips though comes back to most peoples basic struggles, work and money. So once a year we can do something like that but for the rest of the year its pretty much one or two day rides. Eventually you begin to see the bulk of what your area offers in terms of how far you can ride out and get back in a day or two.
I assume this feeling happens to all riders at one point or another? I’ve heard of it happening and seen it occur to the point they even sold their bikes. I would hope it wouldn’t go that far. So whats the answer? I have none. I suppose we just keep on doing what were doing and hope the excitement to ride returns.
Ride Strong Wrench Proud