Puddle Vision

21 03 2012

Day after day, the same commute, the same ride, the same potholes to dodge, the same creative maneuvers through badly planned infrastructure, the only things changing are the wind direction & temperature. The mild winter should have left me more opportunities to explore and play on my bike between home and work, but thanks to a perfect storm of illness, appetite killing medications (which I’m thankfully off now), and quitting my pop habit (which is a really good thing, but I’ve missed those extra 500 calories a day), my body has been left short on fuel and exhausted, and I’ve lost weight (and I did not need to lose weight). In fact, for the first time in my life, my BMI is in the “underweight” category (my doctor told me that I shouldn’t expect any sympathy for this problem). This has also meant that my commute has become extremely rote, always the same, shortest route, treading closer to feebleness than enjoyment.

Sunset, brighter in the puddle world, as the first fingers of ice crystals begin to envelope the water.

For a short time in spring, the puddles of melting snow offer a glimpse into a different world, similar to this one, but the sun is brighter, the sky is clearer, there’s magic in the air and the outlook is always up.

Only in a reflection can you see the magic in the air.

And so my commute came to life again, and staring into the puddles & watching the constantly re-framed reflections allowed me to see my familiar surroundings from a different perspective. Sometimes, a different point of view makes all the difference in getting out of rut.

I could look back at this past winter as a lost opportunity for all sorts of winter adventures. For Edmonton, it was a cyclist’s dream, the mildest winter in memory, warmer and for more days than this born & raised prairie girl would dare to hope for. Yet, I probably would have done the same cycling if it was constantly -20.

Let it be known, that for a few short days in March, there was just barely enough snow on the ground for a "Canadian kickstand."

But it isn’t just weather that makes the winter, and instead of looking back I’m focusing on the future with a reacquired sparkle in my eye, and full fat coconut milk on my cereal.





4 responses

21 03 2012

A change in season certainly does allow for a change in perspective. I empathize with you about the subpar BMI…an excuse for excessive snacking 🙂 Awesome pannier btw, where’s it from?

22 03 2012

Thanks. I guess most people wouldn’t get “OMG I can’t eat enough snax!”

My pannier is a Bike Bin. I did a mini review of it here:
I’m not sure if they’re available in North America anymore, but it looks like you can still order them online, though you would probably get more bang for your buck with a more traditional nylon bag.

21 03 2012

You always have the best photos.

I understand about the body weight. When I first started my current commute I didn’t realize how many calories I needed and ended up quite gaunt. I was startled one day to notice a bone jutting out I had never seen before (“xiphoid process” google tells me). That was a little creepy.

22 03 2012


Yeah, I recently saw a photo of myself, and was like “are those my bones?” I’ve also known folks who stopped commuting (especially after going from riding 0km per day to a longish commute) because they were just so exhausted & out of fuel all the time. I once calculated that I burn a minimum of 700 calories a day commuting – that’s like a whole extra meal every day!

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