For two weeks I did not ride my bike. I suppose this is normal for most people. For me, it’s normal to go a week or more without getting in the car, but unusual to go more than a day without getting on my bike.

I had to stay off my bike because of a lower back injury caused by a combination of snow shoveling and swimming. At first I continued to bike, using my arms to hoist one leg over the top tube, and using my non-dominant leg for starting and stopping. It got better. Then I re-injured my back by just standing! It got better. Finally I re-injured it once more by walking in the pool! The morning I couldn’t stand up straight or walk, I took drastic measures: no more exercise of any kind for a couple weeks. Not even bicycling to work, which I don’t normally consider to be exercise.

For the first few days I felt grateful that we have a car that I can use. Walking wasn’t an option because I moved so slowly and it was too painful to walk even a mile. Then the holiday weekend ended and I shared the car with my daughter, who doesn’t bike when it’s this cold. I learned to ask favors and accept rides from friends. I practiced patience waiting an extra hour for my daughter to get off work and come pick me up. I appreciated the car that allows me to continue working in a limited capacity, but oh, how I missed independent mobility!

I briefly revisited our decision to be a one-car family. The thought of a car payment makes me shudder. I thought of how much space another car would take up. The back injury was only temporary.

This week I’m back to riding my bike. These are glorious days to bicycle; the merely freezing temperature is warm compared to last week’s bitter cold. I relish the ease of getting on and off the bike, of starting and stopping, that had eluded me all month. My only complaint is that my rear end, unaccustomed to the bike seat after the 2 week break, was sore after the short ride to work!