Last year I tried a little experiment with what I called “Tiny Adventures.” The idea was that opportunity for adventure is all around us, every day, and that it doesn’t have to be some giant, grandiose thing.
The experiment was a success! Each little adventure made me feel energized and excited. It was a perfect wintertime goal, because with the lack of sunlight and cold temps it can be easy for the winter blues to set in. Overall, I felt more spontaneous and brave, and ended up doing some pretty fun things.
My tiny adventures were mostly new things I hadn’t done before, or things that took me a bit out of my comfort zone (or both). They were in town, not involving any major travel. Things like: taking a different way home; riding my bike in the snow; trying a new recipe; first time ice climbing; watching my first broomball game on a -10F night; taking a breakdancing lesson. Nothing mind-blowing, but that’s why they’re called “Tiny.”So, with the approach of another winter, daylight hours already to a minimum, and no big adventures in the plans for a while, I’m starting my second season of Tiny Adventures. My goal is one tiny adventure per week. Realistically, it’ll probably end up being two or three a month.
Want to join in on the fun? I’ll be using the hashtag #tinyadventures on Twitter. Post your own tiny adventures and tag them for others to see. Would love to hear what you’re doing to get out of the winter rut.
Tiny Adventures: Slushy Biking
There’s a new climbing gym in town. Not only is it new and sparkly and shiny and tall, but it’s much closer to me than the other one. The gym is right off of the Midtown Greenway, an off-street bike path that runs through the south of the city, making it easy to get to by bicycle.
I’ve ridden the Greenway many times, but usually on dry days, and I’ve never ridden it to this particular part of town (I use it more as a cross-town highway). With no car at my disposal to go to the gym this week, the bike was my only option. Two days after our first snow, the report was that the paths were slushy, but not icy, and the roads were pretty clear.
I gathered my things, hopped on my single-speed (with the skinny tires), and headed towards the Greenway. The center of the path was covered in slush and ice, but with some careful maneuvering, I was able to avoid most of it. When I did have to ride through some slush, I remembered the advice to sit back and put weight on the rear tire. It was cloudy and dreary outside, but I was riding my bike and not navigating through traffic. That put a smile on my face. In the time it usually takes me to drive to the St Paul gym, I was at the new Mpls gym by bike. The web of off-street bike paths and on-street bike lanes is one of my favorite things about this town.
Rumor is that the Greenway is plowed more regularly than the streets. Guess it’s time to build myself a new winter bike. Hey, maybe that’ll be an upcoming Tiny Adventure. 🙂