Sunday, March 28, 2021

Simplifying, Eliminating Negativity, and Riding the Dahon

Lately, the Dahon Boardwalk has become my main ride as we're experiencing more spring-like weather. The small-wheeled wonder is just plain easy to ride, easy to maintain, and perfect for 90% of the flattish miles I'm currently riding after work and on weekends. Until I commute daily to the office and back, requiring more luggage capacity, I'm thankful every day that I bought this spritely folder.

I'm so happy that March has brought the sun! It may be chilly - except for the current 60s F stretch - but the blessed sunshine and geese honking overhead are signs of Spring. With a newly built home, we're starting fresh with landscaping. But for the first spring in a long time I don't feel tied to the land. A few bulbs will emerge, that I put in the ground last year. That's enough for now. I may plant a small rhododendron - I love rhoddies - but I feel liberated from trying to maintain a weed-free garden plot.

A year into the pandemic has taught me what's important. 

  • Family is number one. And..there's nothing like difficulties to illuminate siblings who are willing to help and those who run the other way.
  • Lean on friends for support. Social distancing means we can't hug, but the main thread of friendship carries on. 
  • Being outside, every day, is necessary for mental and physical health. 
  • This is the time to purge negativity: delete blog links, news items, eradicate books, and other sources that are not positive influences in my life. I keep up with daily headlines, but that's about all I can endure. 
  • I cannot be the person who saves the world, so-to-speak. I lack boundless energy like some friends/acquaintances. My mental health rests on helping my family and close friends, interspersed with restful, quiet moments, and of course, a bike ride to clear the mind.
  • Regular yoga sessions have helped improve my physical presence. There's no stopping me now!

Compared with how I felt last April, it has taken quite a while to live day to day long-term, being a traveler at heart, but somehow over the course of a year I have arrived in a contented state of mind - some of that has to do with finding employment in the bicycle industry (more on that to come!). Pre-pandemic, I had equated stagnation with non-learning. If I wasn't planning a yearly vacation, or two - I wasn't visiting new places, experiencing different cultures, trails, etc. - I felt like I wasn't growing as a person. I miss traveling, for sure, but it's not integral to my happiness. I can evolve in other ways. like pouring my energy into creative pursuits, whether that's designing a deck, constructing bike bags, sewing mittens, etc. I recently had someone build a shoe bench, that I stained, and I'm currently in the process of creating a top cushion. 

Thrown into upheaval against our will and not by choice, certainly had it's drawbacks, of course. But progress can also be defined by finding the root of happiness. And, even though there is hope on the horizon, I'm refraining from planning a 2021 vacation.

What's one thing that you've learned over the past year?


  1. We were out riding today and there was a rider up ahead of us that I just couldn't quite catch. It's not normally a big deal, but I was trying to push a bit today, so it was bugging me that I couldn't catch up to the rider... when I finally caught her, I realized she was on a folder. Holy smokes, she could really haul!! I was impressed with her speed on such a tiny bike. :)

    I'm excited to learn about your new employment in the bike industry! Congratulations and I hope that things get off to (or already are off to) a great start.

    Also glad to read that you're finding your way through the times we live in right now. It's no easy task. The longer things continue, the more difficult I find it, but I'm also not willing to put others at risk because I feel antsy on occasion.

    One of the things I've learned (that I kind of already knew, but it really became obvious to me over the past 12 months) is that I need deadlines to be productive. I can invent them for myself, but when I think that I can do without a deadline, it just doesn't happen. Even my mother pointed out to me in the last week that I've "always done better under pressure." I agree - I need the time crunch to do my best, sadly.

    1. I know it seems ounter intuitive, but small wheels can actually be quite speedy. It's my experience that people think they're toy bikes just because of their looks. My 1.5" tires are great, Schwalbe Racers. Folders also accelerate fast from a stop. I think it's the low center of gravity because I pick up speed on descents much faster than my husband on his mountain bike - on pavement anyway! I'm smitten with the capabilities of my Dahon, and because it's steel, it's a comfortable ride.

  2. I can echo all of your points Annie apart from the last on as I've never tried Yoga. Point 3 is the big one for me as after a day inside I get cabin fever.
    Also regarding the Dahon as you may guess I totally agree, its a fantastic bike and I love it too, its so versatile, from local shopping trips to 40 + milers, it can cope.
    The best thing I have done in the last year is loose weight, 19 kilos, it has made a huge difference to my cycling, hills are so much easier and it has taken me back 20 plus years.

    1. Dave, great to hear you are coping okay. Bravo on losing weight!

    2. As for yoga, which I've practiced on and off for several years, daily sessions are keeping me limber, strengthen my core, and building my upper body. My back pain has gone away! Generally, the sessions are 15-30 minutes, very doable as a daily regimen.

  3. The main thing I learned is that I have very little patient's as I age! :( It seems there's a constant pressure to "get things right" as the years tick by and this Covid Mess hasn't helped in the least! I has made me appreciate being able to just "ride the bicycle" even if it's on the same rides several times a year! Before I was always unhappy that I didn't have the means (financial or physical) to get out and SEE, RIDE all the great places that you see folks get to do when you have Internet, it was really bringing me DOWN! The Covid Mess has made just being able to get out and ride anywhere seem great! :) At 65 I'm running out of time for the big things so I'm very slowly learning to enjoy the little thing a LOT more! :)

  4. I'm you're able to pedal your local trails and find it's enough for now. I'm thankful every day that the bicycle holds the key to local exploration - at a safe distance from the general public.


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