Half Rations

You can always do with less than you think.

Take riding, for example. For years now my “minimum” ride has been 20 miles. I mean, obviously I’d regularly go for much shorter rides than that (taking my kid to school, for example, when school was still a thing), but for the most part if I was just riding a bike for riding’s sake I’d generally shoot for at least 20 miles–or of course longer if time allowed.

Now, however, everything’s in shorter supply, and that includes ride time. Fortunately I’ve found that if I cut a 20-miler in half, not only do I save myself an hour, but it’s also just as enjoyable and sustaining–maybe even more so, since there’s less filler:

Riding in jorts and sneakers (or jeans and sneakers when it’s chilly) saves even more time. Plus it puts me in a frame of mind where I’m not targeting mileage minimums in order to justify wrestling with all that Lycra.

Moreover, savings begets savings, and on a short ride I begin to question my bloated velocipedal existence. For example, when this whole shitshow is over, do I really want to bother racing bikes again? Do I even need all these bikes in the first place? If I can halve my mileage, then certainly I can halve my bicycle holdings, can’t I? And if I’ve only got half the bikes won’t they become twice as precious? Only now in these lean times do I appreciate the extent to which my riding life has been slathered in excess. Sure, five may get you ten, but at the same time if you keep cutting that ten in half you’ll never run out.

Well, it all sounds good, anyway. But I’ll be changing my tune the moment I’ve got time for a long ride. Short rides are invigorating, but sometimes you’ve got to come home empty.

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