A week into my long-awaited and desperately needed semester break, I’ve found myself killing lots of time surfing various bike blogs again. I don’t know if it’s the cold weather and lack of time that’s prevented me from doing much riding of late, or something else altogether, but reading these blogs makes me pine for my bike and the open road in ways I can hardly explain. I honestly have trouble sitting still. I’m even thinking a lot about getting a set of rollers, even though I know I’d hate spending any time on them.

And not only do I want to ride, I want to buy stuff. I am absolutely certain that I need new wheels, new shift/brake levers, new tires, a different saddle, better pedals, new cleats, another jersey. . . .

Of course, just as family and work obligations (not to mention weather) compete with ride time, the checkbook (and all the hands that find their way into it, not least of all those of the holiday season) mandates an unwelcome and frustrating hiatus on bike-related shopping.

In any event, the hours I’ve wasted away reading about riding and gazing longingly at pictures of other people doing so have got me thinking about inspiration. What makes you want to ride on any given day? Here are a few that have to mind for me:

  • The disparity between the flat stomachs I see on those who ride all the time and the numbers I see on my bathroom scale every morning;
  • Pictures, stories, and announcements of group rides, whether they be team training events, organized tours, or just some gang of locals raising awareness by riding en masse to a nearby haunt (NB: as much as I love riding, and sometimes thoroughly enjoy some solo time, I’ll admit that I frequently get quite bored when riding alone);
  • Bike gear, whether it be new components or fresh t-shirts, no matter;
  • Working on my bike, or talking about doing so with someone else similarly inclined;
  • Flipping through a copy of Bicycling Magazine (I haven’t come across a copy of Bicycle Times in a long time, unfortunately);
  • Reading about fellow bike commuters, and especially about families trying to go car-lite;
  • Reading about cities committed to integrating bicycles and cycling into their community; and
  • Reading about bike club and bicycle co-op happenings.

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