I never believed in taking "breaks" from a relationship. When friends would tell me that they were "going on a break" from their [once] significant others, it always just sounded like they were "going on a [really drawn out path towards] break[ing up]."
Of course, it takes falling in love really hard to finally see that periodic absences are sometimes a good thing, and that any intense kind of soul-wrenching love will, at a certain point, get slightly suffocating. Not that it's not hard; but a little time away can make the heart grow fonder...or at least fond enough where quirks are once again charming as opposed to annoying, and you can politely laugh at not-so-funny jokes, instead of rolling your eyes.
So when I arrived in NYC and had to climb five flights of stairs with an Ortlieb bag that weighed almost half my weight and the tractorino that is my bike, I almost gladly used it as an excuse to take some time off the bike. For a full weekend.
Incredible, right? Even I was amazed. But I somehow told myself that this foreign concept of walking more than 20 feet a day was going to be good for me. I'll be using muscles that I just don't use when I'm sitting on my bike or sitting in front of my computer or sitting around with friends. I'll see things that I'll zoom past on a bike. It'll be like riding my bike for the first time to school, I told myself, except slower, and I'll be working my pathetically weak core...!
I wasn't totally wrong. My legs were dead by the end of each day, and climbing those five flights of stairs multiple times a day worked my thighs and glutes harder than my rollers. I realized I could still walk several miles without my legs falling off, but also, how much easier/faster/more efficient/less painful it is to ride a bike.
But I also saw things that I wouldn't have seen on a bicycle. A peculiar man wrapped in some knit garment, hanging out on a crowded corner by Union Square, my legs fully covered in proper pants [not leggings], and despite the bike-friendly reputation of NYC [at least as compared to Boston], walking into Stumptown coffee was way easier sans bike.
Still, I missed the love of my lifey. Or at least riding her...which, given my sometimes-rocky-always-schizophrenic relationship with my bike, is enough to have me jumping back into the saddle. I love New York - and oh the pounds I'd shed if I lived and walked there! - but for today, I'm a little bit glad to be headed back to Boston, where an empty fridge means an excuse to spend that much more time with my two-wheeled wonder.
Sometimes, we all just need a little time away.