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Don’t get SAD: Ride your Bike

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010 at 01:22 PM

I read a story the other day about a young girl that started out every day by looking at herself in the mirror and convincing herself that keep a positive attitude no matter what the day threw her way.  She had started it when she was in her teens and had continued this daily repetition into her twenties without fail. As the story goes this little ritual has allowed her to stay positive in the face of more than one or two adversities and has resulted in a very positive life. The reason I bring up this anecdote is because during this time of year it can sometime be difficult to keep a smile on your face; maybe a little mirror time would do us all some good, or is a bicycle ride the perfect cure for the winter doldrums.

When winter rolls around in Vancouver, there are a lot of people that wear a reflection of the gloomy weather on their faces; patience dwindles, moods gray and attitudes droop. There is a scientific term for this, it’s called, ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’ or SAD – fitting I know. For an unscientific and brief explanation SAD results from the weeks or even months of sunless gloom that blankets the coast here in BC. When people start feeling SAD you can really notice it in the mood of the city, but I think there is a cure. Some people use tanning beds to up their sunshine quotient, but I’m not much on one for the fake-and-bake, others head out on vacation, but that’s can get costly and only holds you over for so long; for me, though, I ride my bicycle.

Some of the best rides I’ve had have been in the grips of winter. Yes, it can be cold and sure it’s wet at times but if you dress properly and have the right gear it can turn a dreary day into an epic adventure.  You see, if you are reading this then you probably like to ride bicycles, probably a lot, and when things get a little gloomy there is nothing better than getting out on your bike while others sit and lament on their couch.

It would be easier to stay firmly planted on a buttock cushioning device in front of the moving picture box slipping further into a SAD state, but that will hardly help the condition. No, I recommend a big dose of cycling, to cure the seasonal-blues. Get that bicycle out of the shed, room, garage or wherever it is collecting dust and go for a spin. Repeat if necessary and I guarantee you will keep your smile when others get their frown. And to top it off you won’t have to sit in front of a mirror everyday trying to convince yourself to be happy, you’ll already be there.

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