Monday, April 10, 2006

Cyclists' block

I am in need of some serious motivation. Like Matt Foley kick-down-your-door-and-enlighten-you-about-your-future-in-a-van-down-by-the-river-type motivation. I have a serious case of cyclists' block, and I'm not sure how to get through it.

It was so easy in the winter. Basically, I had a plan to do this frozen-tundra century that was so overwhelmingly terrifying that everything (and I mean everything) seemed pleasant in contrast. Now I'm facing decidedly easier conditions. Sure, the "paved" roads are so riddled with frost heaves that I can get some serious (and I mean serious) air on my road bike. And sure, a fierce west wind coupled with 25-degree temps dropped the wind chill down to single digits today. And sure, the slow-moving spring break-up causes all (and I mean all) surfaces to turn to soup. But still, there's no excuse for my inability to get out and ride.

This morning I woke up, dressed in some cycling gear, went downstairs and stared at my bikes. Just stared at them, for several minutes. Then, almost inexplicably, I went back upstairs, grabbed my gym outfit and keys, and left for work in my car. I can't explain why I didn't want to ride this morning. I just couldn't face it. Then, after I left work, I had this idea to pick up where I left off and go for an evening ride. But once outside, the wind hit me like a blast of freezer burn. I grabbed my iPod and high-tailed it to the climate-controlled elliptical trainer.

As I turned the hamster wheel and browsed a great article about Edward R. Murrow, I thought about writers block and the way it can feel like it's never going to end. I'm starting to think that maybe cyclists experience the same thing. It's frustrating, after a full-steam winter, to suddenly hit a wall. It's even more frustrating because summer, the actual bicycling "season," is just about to begin. But I'm still holding out hope that my cyclist's block ... much like the ice-choked Tenana River ... will soon collapse under pressure from the relentless Arctic sun and melt into the even flow of summer.

Where's the inspiration? Where's the passion? Where's Chris Farley when you need him?