I comfort myself with the thought that days are officially (and celestially) getting longer. The Winter Solstice has passed, yet here in the Midwest nightfall comes before 5:00 this time of year – and it’s still dark outside at 8:00 am. When we lived on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, there was far less daylight in December: basically a little bit of murky grayness as the sun, very low on the horizon, peeked through (some days, at least) for a brief hour or two. It’s actually quite lovely outside, but I’m sitting in my armchair as I enjoy the view, looking through the picture windows on the back of my house; the disparity between the warmth from our fireplace is in marked contrast to the reality beyond the panes of glass.
It’s holiday break from school and I pine to be outside and riding. I’m living vicariously through the bike listings on Craig’s List, the musings on bikeforums.net, thumbing through old bike magazines – where the hell are my new issues, anyway? – and wandering out to my studio to occasionally buff and polish random parts. In my boredom, I worked out a trade of one of my touring frames for a nice vintage randonneuring frame, and that kept me preoccupied for an evening as I worked out the details. But that moment has now passed and I’m itching for something more.
What I should be doing is organizing and editing images for my summer art shows, preparing for the exhibition I’m organizing and which opens in February, planning my lessons for next semester; printing, matting, framing – and so forth, and so on. But the bicycle tends to be my excuse as much in the winter as it is in the summer it seems!
We’ve been researching various cyclotouring possibilities for next summer, and I’m very interested in participating in some ultracycling events as well. I plan to ride the KATY trail west to east, and then east to west in mid-June. RAGBRAI is in late July and there are various brevets I’d like to ride. The Tour de Stooges is in May, an event I know absolutely nothing about other than that it is named for my favorite comedy trio – and for that fact alone I will ride it!
It’s 18 degrees as I write this and there’s simply no way I will go outside to ride today. The weather report, which tends to fluctuate badly from one moment to the next, calls for a possible 50 degree day on Friday but that is an entire week away, and much could change between now and then.
So for now, I guess I’ll just pine some more.