February 13, 2024

Winter Doldrums

Winter in Georgia.  Dark nights.  An unreasonable amount of rain.  It’s cold.  It’s gray.  It’s muddy.  There are endless excuses as to why I cannot ride my bike.  I do try to.  I make plans.  It rains on my days off.  The tires are flat.  I have so much going on I can’t wander far from home.  I don’t have anyone to ride with.  The list goes on and on..  

I am choosing to have grace with myself this year.  I encourage you to also.  It is challenging in the winter to get in those miles and to take those adventures with all the variables that winter presents.

What do I do instead?  I complain.  Don’t you?

I try to get on my bike trainer.  It’s not nearly as fun.  Even using tools like Zwift I struggle with motivation.  I want to feel the wind in my hair.  I want to question my existence on a hard climb.  I want to feel my inner 10 year old on down hill runs.  I want all the highs and all the lows that a good stretch of single track trail offers.  I want to hear my gears grind while I climb a gravel road.  I want to hang out with my friends on bike rides and suffer - I mean have fun together.

Thankfully, winter in Georgia is pretty brief.  We are already beginning to see the first vestiges of Spring.  My favorite bird, the Pine Warbler, has started to sing.  Tree buds are swelling and before long Cherry Trees and Red Buds will be blooming.  Bright blue skies and the warmth of the sun will be beckoning us to get out and get after it.  Spring is just around the corner.

To really help me get through the winter doldrums and to be ready when the days are more fair I make plans for the future days when I can no longer stand to be inside.  I study maps and plan routes - often trying to lengthen my favorite routes to push me to go further.  I look for new places to ride and plan trips for the weekends I am not at work.  Each year I try to plan for one or two really big adventures - like bike packing trips or forays to new trail systems.  I dream of sitting on river banks watching the water flow while I catch my breath.  

In the meantime, I aimlessly wait.. Because no matter what it feels like today, I know Winter will pass.  Spring will arrive.. And all the miles I have been craving will come.

FYI My ladies rides - for that matter most of our group rides - will return after the time change in March.  I CAN’T WAIT!

Sarah Hubbard