Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
'til its gone
—"Big Yellow Taxi," by Joni Mitchell
I'm in a bad spell for bike commuting. Schedules and obligations at home have been forcing me to drive to work, and that'll be the case for much of this winter.
I really shouldn't complain. My drive to work is only a little over three miles (the fun way—by bike—is longer) and I can get there in less than 10 minutes. But I hate driving to the office. Evening and weekend rides are great, but getting to work on a bike feels like doing the right thing and cheating the system all at the same time.
I was able to ride Tuesday for the first time in two or three weeks, and damn, it felt good.
There I was, pedaling along, dreaming up blog posts that will piss off hockey fans (just kidding, Luke) and cruising through the darkness on damp streets and trails. I watched the sky grow light over the Chugach Range and felt my legs spin easily as my slicks quietly hummed along.
I was feeling so good that I couldn't even get annoyed by this young bull moose that declined my gentle invitation to clear the trail. He was just another reminder of the cool route I ride to work. I snapped a few pics before he decided to slowly push me backward. He stared me down and kept approaching, so I stashed the camera and went a couple of blocks out of my way rather than attempt to ride around him at close range.
After all, it's rutting season, and he was a sexually frustrated yearling hoping to get a little action in a tough market. Big, bad-ass bulls are having all the fun while this poor dude is struggling to grow some stubby antlers—it's the ungulate equivalent of a horny high-school freshman trying to grow a second sideburn to impress that chick that almost made the cheerleading squad.
After I turned around, I detoured through a skateboard park, rounded the corner by a porn shop and cruised up Dimond Boulevard as the noisy parade of headlights and taillights carried all the automotive inmates to another day at work.
Maybe having my bike commutes cut back for a little while is a good way to remind me just how sweet every trip on a bike really is.
Never take your daily ride for granted.