COLUMN: Holidays postponed by particulars

NANAIMO – Author postpones holidays to get a few things out of the way.

OK, I never thought I’d find myself writing something like this, but I’ve postponed my holidays by a week.

I have my reasons.

First of all I wanted to get a couple of assignments out of the way, so I can be free and clear of having to think about anything to do with work while I’m gone. One thing that drives me nuts while I’m on holiday is thinking about what’s waiting for me when I get back – like writing this column, which is due, well, the day before you’ll be reading this.

I have a couple of other assignments to clear up too that I could put off until I get back, but as I was saying….

I also wanted to take part in Bike to Work Week. Even when I was a kid my bike was my most prized possession and now that I’m into at least my second – or maybe even my third – midlife crisis, my small collection of bikes is still what I enjoy spending time either riding or tinkering with the most.

But already there’s a problem with Bike to Work Week. Like last year, I attempted to ride back and forth to work for the week. No big deal for a lot of people – and it’s not really so much of a problem for me either – but I do have to commute 22 kilometres each way between home and work (it’s a little over 18 km, by another route, but there are more hills, so it’s a coin toss  – more hills and less traffic versus more level grades and brushing shoulders with semis) which means 44 km round trip – and like last year it’s pouring rain out.

I don’t mind getting caught in the rain. You get home, change into dry clothes and life is good.

But last year I started my mornings off riding to work in a soaking downpour, arrived wet and cold, changed and dried off as best I could and at the end of the day switched back into my cold, wet riding gear and did the hour-long chug home in the rain. On the morning of Day 5 I said to hell with it and hitched a ride in with a friend.

Last spring was a particularly wet one and Bike to Work Week 2013 didn’t shape up much better, so while I had my bike in the car, I’m not hopping on it tonight because it’s coming down cats and dogs out there.

Plus there’s the issue of leaving the car in town to be possibly vandalized and I have to leave my camera gear in the office, which has been broken into a couple of times.

Oh, and speaking of cats and dogs, I finally found a dog a few years ago that doesn’t shed. About a year later, balance in the universe was restored  in the form of Mickey G. NewK, our ginger cat who adopted us and sheds orange hair prodigiously.

This morning I grabbed some riding clothes my wife had neatly folded and placed in my closet. When I got out to the car I realized I must have sat in a chair Mick frequents because the seat of my riding pants is covered with a thick layer of orange cat hair that will take multiple washings to remove and I don’t relish the idea of riding home in traffic looking like I’ve got an orange rug stuck on each cheek of my backside.

And my final reason for postponing my holidays is I turned 55 Friday and what better way to celebrate a birthday than going home and having a barbecue and beers with a few friends around the fire and waking up the next morning to a week off. I’ll call it my Freedom 55 party.

Yes, I realize my freedom is only going to last 10 days, but being on the Freedom 85 program due to poor life planning and no guarantee of winning the lottery anytime soon, I figure this might be about as close to “Freedom 55” as I’m going to get.