Well, I’ll be riding my bike today. Why am I so confident of this all of a sudden? I know that if I don’t ride my bike to my appointment with the Doc, he’ll make it my homework to go home, get my bike, and ride it back to my appointment while he waits for me. My psychiatrist is cool like that. He sets the expectation – always for my well-being – and gives the therapy he’s prescribing time to work and the opportunity to do so. That’s in the form of homework, and if it’s something we can do during an appointment, then he’s all for it, just as much as he’s for it outside our appointment times. My psychiatrist/therapist rocks! That’s not to say that any of it is easy! If it wasn’t a problem, I wouldn’t need to see the Doc twice a week. I have issues with a lot of things and the Doc is very creative in his approach to therapy with me. He’s come up with some brilliant ideas and he gives me equal footing on testing them out. Some work and some don’t, but we always discuss what worked and what didn’t so that we can problem-solve (another opportunity he gives me to work things out in my own mind and therapy for both of us, I’m sure). What I love so much about my doctor is that he’s human. He knows it, he admits it, and he embraces it, rain or shine. There are so many professionals, especially doctors, who are unable or unwilling to do that. That’s what makes my psychiatrist extraordinary. So, I’ll gladly ride my bike over to my appointment today, knowing that even though it might be hard with the levels of anxiety and depression I have right now, it’ll be for my own good and I’ll feel better after doing it. I have an appointment to ride to!
So, in thinking ahead, since Grand Ave. will be incredibly busy and dangerous to cross at the time that I would normally go over to my early afternoon appointment with the Doc, I should get across Grand before noon and then figure out what to do in that area of town until I go to my appointment. Perfect opportunity to ride my bike and explore the area, I’m thinking. I’ll have to be careful because it’s also close to the medical corridor, which is always busy with distracted drivers, but I could bike on the residential streets between the medical corridor and the high school, or even venture a bit into the Downtown area if I felt like it. Maybe I’ll bike over even sooner and have lunch at Harper & Madison. They have good food. I’m sure they must have a bike rack or a pole to lock my bike to (I hope). That way I could get there before it got terribly busy for lunch, too. I wonder what their menu looks like these days… Neither of my climbing buddies works there anymore, so I don’t know.
I would just like to spend some time being out and about on my new bike. The ADV 3.1 needs some exercise, and so do I!!! I could pack on of my panniers with my iPad Mini and a book or two, or my iPad Pro and iPencil, too, and make a day of it. I could get out my Salsa Anything Bags and fix up some nice, cool beverage to strap onto my front fork racks in them. I could set up my whole bikepacking rig to test it out, too, as far as that goes! But that all takes away from the “just ride” experience that I have in mind for the day. Maybe I’ll bikepack another day. Today, I’ll need one pannier for my iPad Mini and some books, my locks for my bike in my frame bag, my fix-it kit seat bag, my helmet, my gloves, my bike keys, my extra crankbrothers M17 multitool that I’ve decided to carry, and possibly the high-visibility green and white-reflective-stripe vest that I bought the other day on a totally separate Walmart run for working at the field. One of those is never bad to have. The more visible you are, the less likely (theoretically) you are to get hit by a car… I’m not sure I believe that, but we’ll go with it for now. I just need some road time on my bike to figure out gears and brakes and mounting, stopping, starting, and dismounting gracefully without crashing. I essentially have to learn to ride a bike again because it’s a) a new style of bike for me, b) a bike that actually fits me, and c) been a long time (years) since I’ve ridden a bike, so my balance is questionable, as are my reflexes. I just pray that I don’t break anything or mess anything up when I crash, because I know I’ll crash at some point. I also pray that I don’t get a flat tire of any sort, because although I have the tools to fix one, it would take me a while and I would just think through it because it’s common sense (c’mon, I’m a scientist!). Above all else, though, I have to make it to my appointment! The Doc would be terribly worried, as would Kathy, if I didn’t show up for my appointment! Not that I wouldn’t call ahead and tell them what was going on, but in the event that I couldn’t get through for some ungodly reason, which would happen to me…
I’m looking forward to riding my bike today. I really am. I’ll get across Grand Ave. before it gets busy, explore a new area of town for myself, eat a good lunch, get more familiar with my ADV 3.1, and get to my appointment without losing my parking spot to some high school kid with no common courtesy or respect for others or their property. Sounds like a great plan! Execute!!!