In the 1990's, when I was in my thirties, I began riding a bicycle long distances. It gave me something to feel good about. I might have deep, seemingly intractable problems, but, I thought, at least I'm riding a bike. My legs took me to places that I couldn't appreciate at 55 miles per hour.
The bike and I traveled from New York City to Ocean Grove, down the Jersey shore. I did a solo ride from my apartment to my parents house in upstate New York over the course of four days. (No, I did not camp out. My other companion was my credit card, so I slept on real beds, showered in real bathrooms, and ate at real restaurants.)
In the mid 90's, I learned how to design web pages and subsequently developed a repetitive stress injury in my right arm. I'm nothing if not obsessive and compulsive. Stop work because my arm is about to fall off? Don't be ridiculous! Each week my chiropractor put my arm back together and each week I'd work with the mouse and get on the bike, never allowing any healing time.
I had to give it up in 1997. With much regret, I admitted that I had to chose my arm and my job over my bicycle. It took nine years for me to get back onto the saddle. Last summer I bought a new bike at a bike shop near my house. I'm in love again.
I'm hoping that it's a more mature love. One that doesn't hurt me.
Yesterday, I spent the day building a new website. I worked too long, made too many gif files, didn't stop when my arm began to get sore, and caused a flareup of the repetitive stress injury. Today, when I hopped on the bike to pick up the newspaper, my wrist and hand hurt.
At first I was confused. I hadn't ridden that much last week, but the poor bike had nothing to do with it. When I realized that I was behaving in the same old way, I decided to lay off the website for a day and try to absorb my lesson. That is, before I have to give up my renewed relationship with the old riding habit.
xposted: Blog, aim_highly, cycling