This just doesn’t feel right.
I should be at Yen Yoga & Fitness, preparing for amateur bike racing season. But Yen is closed. I should be hitting up group rides, trying to hang on to people much, much faster than me in the hopes of making up for the last four months of eating too many tacos and margaritas. But group rides are few and far between, due to social distancing, parents staying home with their kids, and probably a very understandable lack of interest in bikes during a global pandemic.
In addition to the extra pounds from tacos, I’m also being weighed down by something far more debilitating; uncertainty. I’d imagine many people are feeling the same thing. Will I get laid off? Will I ever make back the $15,000 I lost in my retirement when the marketing crashed? Will my favorite coffee shops and restaurants (and the incredible people who work there) still be in business when this is all over? Will someone I know and love get sick and die?
There’s always uncertainty in the world, but the stress and anxiety existing in our hearts and minds right now are at all time highs. The one thing that gave us certainty in life – the cycling community, group rides, bike races – have all been taken away at a time when we need them most to give us order and structure, and perhaps most importantly, something to look forward to in this incredibly stressful time.
There’s no doubt that canceling races is the right call right now. Getting hundreds or thousands of people together to breathe on each other and launch snot rockets on each other is a bad idea all the way around. But what makes it difficult is the not knowing if any bike races will happen this summer. Or, if any of us will be able to afford to race bikes if our businesses are struggling and laying us off. Or, if someone we know will be in the hospital, fighting for their life this summer.
I don’t have many answers. Personally, I’ve been swinging like a pendulum between extremely positive about the pandemic getting under control and business getting back to normal, then going the other way and wanting to lay in bed with the covers over my head in the hopes of being swallowed by a black hole. So, yeah. It’s a great time to be stuck at home with me.
I don’t know how others are coping. I hope better than I am. If you’re feeling down and stressed, all I can say is that you’re not alone; not by a long shot. I know you’ve read it everywhere by now, but this is a great time to check in with your riding buddies. Ask how they’re holing up, if they need anything, how their family is doing, and maybe if they’ve gained five pounds in a week like I have.
Now is the perfect time to do what the cycling community does best; look out for each other.
Stay happy. Stay healthy.
Many of our sponsors are reeling from this pandemic thing. Some have closed entirely, while others are on life-support. If you can, please consider supporting them by visiting them for grab and go options, or buying gift cards.
Taproot Cider House has a limited menu PLUS gift cards available.
You can order online from Brew – it’s crazy easy. The lox bagel is the best in town.
Velo City Cycles is way ahead of the curve. You can shop their entire inventory online and then pick up at your leisure. They can even ship select items directory to your house. Magic!