Bike to Work Week is part of Bike to Work Month and starts on May 16 this year. It is a great opportunity to make and live a commitment to riding your bike to work, civic events, volunteer activities and personal errands. Though almost a month away, it is not too early to begin earnest preparation for the week. This preparation is not to be taken lightly - in fact it is very serious and if not done properly, will derail all but the most dedicated cyclists.
Many believe it involves riding many miles, planning routes, charging lights and batteries, lubing chains, tightening fenders, patching holes in bags and clothing - almost as if getting ready for a high altitude assault on a major mountain. Yes, that is a good start, but you still will not be ready for the week without the most important piece.
What else is there you ask? It is all mental - you must prepare yourself mentally for crappy weather - there, I said it. If you do not, no amount of clothes, tuning or riding will get you out the door and bike commuting that week. As we saw yesterday with spring's cute little display of snow, anything is possible. As my friend Rob used to say "If you expect the worst, you are never disappointed." We must prepare our minds for the possibility of rain, sleet, wind, more wind and yes snow. I have seen it snow like crazy in early June, so don't laugh.
Then and only then are we ready to be true bike to work weekers. Should the morning of the 16th dawn with drizzle and low overcast, we will be ready to drag ourselves out the door and the pancakes and coffee at the kick-off breakfast will be even more satisfying. It is all about having what it takes to start the ride - this is always the hardest part.
If it breaks clear and warm, then we will be ready for that too. Regardless, it will be a great week and remind us of why we live here and help engage others in something we love. Anything less than a blizzard will be a welcome addition to the joy and camaraderie the week promises. Now, if I can just remember where I put my balaclava and ski socks.