Life is always easier if you're in the right gear.

Resolving to Be Un-Resolved

MP900440956The Cycle Oregon Facebook page posted a single, simple question this morning. “What are your cycling-related resolutions this year?” Simplicity, sometimes has a way of making one stop and think. Of pointing out to one, certain inconsistencies.

A few days ago, I vowed not to make any resolutions this year. After all, what good is a resolution after the first week of January anyway? That’s about how long most of mine last, except last year. Last year, I didn’t even get started on them. Fate, or God, had a way of pre-empting all my resolutions and diverting my time, attention and energy to other things. Things like, getting through a challenging school year, radiation treatments, the end of a two-year relationship. Minor stuff, really, but it did wreak havoc on my cycling plans for the year.

This year, I resolved not to make any definite resolutions, particularly toward cycling, except it would be nice to ride more and get my road bike. But there was no conviction or punch behind this. It was my way of saying, “Yeah, it would be nice, but if it doesn’t happen, okay.” This, most definitely, does not count as a New Year’s Resolution.

A few days after vowing not to make any New Year’s Resolutions, I found myself driving by the bike path with my son. We were driving. Doing good work, actually, in our move from a cluttered life to a more minimalist (except for the bikes) lifestyle. In unison, we exclaimed, “We should be out there!” It just felt wrong, almost painful to be riding in a car beside the bike path instead of on our bikes, flying down the greenway toward our favorite food location in Ashland. Never mind that it is winter. We have enough cold weather gear to survive all but the wettest of days. We decided then, that things needed to change. We needed to get back on our bikes. Before I knew it, I was making plans with my son. ( Hmmm, isn’t the word “plan” synonymous with “resolution?)

“Hey, here’s what I want to do this year: Catch a bus to Ashland with our bikes. Then ride back to Central Point at an all out sprint. You lead.”

“Yeah, and I want to go explore the trails and roads above Ashland.”

“Oh, we’ve got to get our climbing legs on for that.”

“You do, Mom. Hills are my jam.”

“Oh my. I’m going to have to drop some weight in order to do that.”

Yes. In the space of about five minutes, we made our cycling-related New Year’s Resolutions. Some of them, anyway.

This morning, when I read Cycling Oregon’s question, I realized I couldn’t even keep my resolution to not make any New Year’s Resolutions. Further, when it comes to cycling, resolving to remain un-resolved is not a good plan. Not if you love the sport. Not if you hope to get better at it.

I love the sport. I hope to get better at it. It’s January 6, and I’ve already broken my first New Year’s Resolution. Let’s hope I don’t break any more.

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Hi, I'm Cat A.Olson, @According2Cat on Twitter, or @TheDigitalCat on Instagram, and I write about my cycling adventures. In 2010, after 25 years off the bike, I decided to get a bike and start riding again. In 2012, I was diagnosed with DCIS, an early and completely curable form of breast cancer. I had five weeks of radiation treatment and I rode my bike to nearly every treatment. In 2013, I decided to get a faster bike. I'm finally getting serious about losing weight, and riding really fast with the cool kids.

I ride every chance I get, as fast as I can, for as long as my body will allow. I'm learning how to embrace challenges like helmet hair, padded pants, clipless shoes, flat tires, bugs in my teeth, and...ugh...hills. I'm learning that both cycling and life are easier and a lot more fun when you're in the right gear.

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