It may be an amusing surprise for the unaware, but in general most experienced cyclists are skilled amateur meteorologists. Yes, that’s correct. The ensemble, bici + human cannot be considered complete as the trinity requires the element “weather” to be considered holy. We’re referring to roadies here, so some of the track folks get a pass (for now). As we all know, weather usually has a strong say at the outcome of your latest spin. When someone asks “How’s the riding in your area?”, the answer varies; at times it’s a flowery, sublime account of the magic mix of sun+low humidity+little wind+nice temps. Other times, depending on the season, it can be a diatribe of one’s Calvary, whipped by wind-driven rain, blinding snow squalls or tarmac-melting heat. This is not your average chit-chat about the weather. No, that’s for commuters and socially inept co-workers. One can spend hours discussing pluviometric indexes, wind direction and exactly at what temperature and humidity one’s body performs at its best. Weather talk fascinates us as it’s both interesting and revealing, because when we discuss atmospheric variety, we also offer our own experiences, further strengthening the bond we have as sports mates. But what is worst than bad weather?
Let’s say you’ve had a long week, as in “one of those weeks”. Your boss was less than cordial and more than demanding. You may or may not have ridden to your satisfaction. Maybe you got to race, or, if you’re one of those lucky folks, you may have given yourself a “personal day” and logged several beautiful kilometers midweek. But for most of us, we look to the weekend with a planned resolve to have some well-earned saddle time. By Friday evening, your wife/girlfriend/partner turns to you and says “Did you see it may rain tomorrow?”, which in wife lingo means “You’re not riding tomorrow”, but can also actually mean “You’re not setting foot out of the house till you mow the lawn/clean the toilet/do laundry/go food shopping/watch the kids while I play soccer/prepare dinner”, etc. If this reads like fiction to you, quit this page immediately and go find what Miley Cyrus is up to these days. However, if this seems painfully familiar, well, here are a few categories that may help you get a clue regarding your spousal chores. Sure, living together entails a fair division of duties. Some of them cannot be skirted, some can be postponed, but the very definition of “duty” is something you must do, period. So let’s get to them.
Those are the most vague, wide-encompassing variety, but not less important. Married Man Duties mean that you have work that can’t be done by itself, but won’t necessarily harm anyone. When buddies ask your availability and you mention you have MMDs, they’ll understand, nod along, feel slightly sorry for you, and perhaps even accommodate a later departure time. The same holds true if you suggest an ungodly early ride – you have dragged your feet during the week, the laundry pile has grown and developed its own smell and zip code, and you have to be home to address your myriad responsibilities. It can also be referred to as BD (boyfriend duties, like going to church to impress your future in-laws) or FD (friend duties, like picking up your bud’s bike at the shop). Though of lesser importance and with more room for negotiation, BDs and FDs are honorable responsibilities and require a modicum of attention. It’s also worth mentioning SGD (single guy/gal duties); for those who have absolutely nothing else going on, folks will turn to you when they need help moving, building cabinets during the weekend or a spotter at the gym. Be nice.
Daddy Duties are sacred. But can be awful too, like skipping work (yay!) to stay home with a sick kid (boo!), or being sent out of the house, kitted up and embrocated, to the local pharmacy to get this or that medicine before you meet your friends for a ride. DDs are non-negotiable because the welfare of dependants are at stake, after all, it’s not their problem if you arranged to go drink beer or wanted to go to a hammer session when Junior got an ear infection. Or wants to go to the park. Or has a playdate you chose to forget because your significant other scheduled it during bicycle time (translation: daytime).
Sounds like the solvent thingy you should never spray on your bike – triathletes take note – but those are the worst sort of chores. Aside from being super sucky, they cannot be negotiated, outsourced or skipped, lest you get in trouble with the boss, meaning your boss, not the significant other. And that is Work Duties. If for some disgraceful reason your employer requires you to be tethered to your smart phone 24/7, then I really feel bad for you. Actually, I don’t, because if you have a round-the-clock relationship with work, then at least they pay you better than average. Or you’re a doctor. Either way, sorry man, I’ll let the boys know you ain’t comin’.
Naturally, this is not a “woe-is-me” account from a busy daddy. The main issue here is to achieve the impossible: finding balance among all the important things in your daily routine. You should be so lucky to get this far with all the riding you do, or the importance you place on bicycles. So when variables get in the way, you make way for them. Understand your duties, address them smartly, and you can turn them into currency. When the time comes, you cash in your chips.
Speaking of which, this Tuesday looks great, dry, no wind, and in the low 70s. What are you doing? I’m gonna go racing, man. Beers afterwards? Guaranteed.