Last week I talked about how my bags help me to get ready a little quicker than my old set. It got me thinking about prep time and it's influence on my riding.
It may sound silly, but the effort that goes into getting ready every night really does have an impact on when and how much I ride. When you're asking yourself if you want to ride in the morning, you tend to think about the pain of finding all the gear versus the joy of riding in the gear.
When I first started riding, it was sporadic. My gear was strewn all over my house and I had to put a lot of mental energy into what was needed. If it was going to rain, I had to search for my rain gear. If it was going to be cold, my gloves were nowhere to be found. Then it got really easy to talk myself out of riding.
I eventually realized that I needed a good system for keeping track of all my stuff. I bought a cabinet for my garage, put a crate in my closet and started bringing my bike in the night before. Everything I need is easily accessible and all I have to do is brush my teeth, get dressed and head out.
Eventually I was able to build in a rhythm of laundry and bike maintenance in there, too. When the right systems allow bike commuting to be "second nature," it gives you the opportunity to ride more and think less. It's totally worth it.
Get out there.