At Spring's Door

Chicago weather is widely known as a tease. But any day now...

... one morning, we will wake up, look out the window, and all the snow will be gone for good. Crocuses will be erupting from the sodden turf and the robin will await the worm with cockeyed anticipation.
Riding a bike might seem like fun again.

To some, of course, riding a bike is never unreasonable or unseasonable. Cutting a singletrack trail through freshly fallen snow has its unquestionable charms, and arriving at a destination with one's own power with icicles forming under one's nose, can be quite ennobling.

But day in and day out winter commuting takes its toll. It's impossible to be footloose and fancy free in heavy boots, snow-caked gore-tex, balaclava and goggles. And, as happened with me, my bicycle -- usually a symbol of freedom and fun -- becomes an obligation, the thing whose accusing gaze I avoid as I slink past it on my way out the door.

So here's what I'm looking forward to as I await the crocuses and the robin: shedding the winter weight of excessive clothing layers; replacing the winter tires on my bike with skinnier ones, adding colorful grocery panniers, leaning my bike against the wall of my front porch, so it's always ready for spur-of-the-moment biking. I look forward to being able to carry more groceries than I can when walking, riding in whatever I've got on, filling my bike trailer with gardening supplies, riding home with freshly picked veggies wrapped in newspaper, warm-weather bike picnics, not minding getting caught in the rain on my bike...

What are you impatiently awaiting this spring?