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Friday Musing: Crankin’ Out the Crankiness

TGIF fellow Bike Commuters!

Despite the warm-ups we’ve had here in Chicago, I’ve been battling the winter blues and all-around crankiness. Some of it could also be my dismay at getting sick again – just in time for last weekend’s Chicago Bike Swap.

The Swap went very well, but I was zapped by the end of the day and spent the next couple of days at home feeling “blah”. I’ve also been sick – but not quite too sick not to bike – during some wonderful near 70-degree days this past week and felt that much worse since I could not fully embrace and enjoy those days on my bike or otherwise. I should be be happy with this weather news and I am:

Our warm winter has been well documented. It was the third warmest on record for the state and the 4th warmest for the US. This winter tied for sixth place with the most number of days with a high of 40° or warmer. We enjoyed 50 40° degree days this winter. This winter also tied for sixth place for the least amount of days with 1 inch of snow on the ground or more. We had just 13 days this winter with 1″ of snow on the ground or more.

In all my negativity, I’ve also been wondering if all this great weather will spell doom for my spring.

Time to snap out of it!

Today – at long last – my head seems to finally be clearing and the fatigue subsiding, and I feel like it’s time for me to spring my head back up and beat this funk!

Riding my bike usually helps me battle the blues. It gives me an opportunity to crank out the crankiness (as I like to think of it) and arrive at work or home with more focus.

But sometimes my bike commutes actually crank up my level of crankiness, especially on days when I’m low on patience or my head is in a fog of congestion (as it has been most of this week). Doing battle with cars and pedestrians just gets me more riled up and I find that my frustrations build rather than dissipate.

My co-workers have suggested that I try taking a break from my bike. “A break from my bike?!?” Seriously? Never. The prospect of having to rely on the unpredictable schedule of public transit or get in my car (with the high price of parking and gasoline) quickly reminds me that biking is the best way for me to go – and that at the end of the day, it does calm me.

At least on my bike I feel the breeze (and sometime volatile winds) on my face. I feel a sense of control over my commute, while at the same time I sense the vulnerability of being so exposed on my bike. Most importantly, I feel the fullness of being alive.

I like what my bike commute does for me – on the good and the bad days. I guess it’s why I keep it crankin’…


After being sick for over a week, I woke up this morning itching and antsy for a return to my bike. Despite the rainy forecast and my lingering sinus “issues”, I pumped up Toro’s tires, lubed the chain and set out this morning – happy to be actively engaged in my commute again.

As I rode along, I realized it’s Friday and thought “TGI – BIKED!” Yes, Thank Goodness I’m Biking…. only one week off of my bike and I was already desperately missing my 2-wheel ride.

After finishing my workday yesterday feeling miserable, I decided that today’s determination to stay home sick or go in to work would be solely determined by my ability to ride. And I simply just wanted to ride!

So… Happy Friday! Have a safe bike commute home.