I know it’s been one helluva year for most of us,

So I’ll keep this short. 

I’m putting this out to my email list because I think it’ll help to know you’re not the only one who feels like absolute dog-dirt sometimes.

Especially in 2020.

This was this last Saturday……2020 style.

For some background:

Here in Milwaukee, there’s a crazy bunch of cyclists that come together for the always entertaining Official #BFW#SantaRampage fundraiser.

Santa Rampage Milwaukee 2019

If you haven’t seen thousands of Santas on bikes, well? I’m sorry. ‘Cause it’s a treat. 

And like most things, it was cancelled this year. This is a bummer, because……

(Here’s a pic to show you……)

That handsome Santa, is my hubby.

This cancellation was sad on so many levels. Not just for the Santas, but for the 1000’s that would line the street to wave and smile us on as we cross-sectioned Milwaukee County. 

Who doesn’t get a kick out of thousands of Santas on bikes? 

Even Eboneezer Scrooge and The Incorrigible Grinch would approve.

Not only is this tough on the bikefederationofwisconsin.com‘s bottom line, it’s also one of those events, above all others, that helps to shine a little brighter on our cold and weary #Wisconsin souls. 

Unfortunately, in a year we could’ve all used some Santas-on-Bikes fun…..most Santas (responsibly) stayed camped out at the North Pole. 

So, why am I bothering to write about it?

Because for me…..like may of you……Winter is compounding an already tough mental state. 

I’m someone who has a bit of #SAD (seasonal affect) sprinkled in with a touch of cyclical #depression. So these dark, cold, rainy Lake Michigan, Milwaukee winters can be sometimes mentally oppressive. 

Typically, with the coming solstice, the Santa Rampage always gave me just enough of the warm-fuzzies to last until a trip south in February. 

Poor me, right? (Cue the 2020 mantra:)

“There are circumstances much worse than our fun being cancelled.” 

But is there? Is this always true? 

Are we underestimating fun for mental health’s sake?

Because for me, it wasn’t about the party…..or seeing all my fellow crazy bike friends…….nor was it for my undying support of the bike fed. 

It was about beating the all-consuming depression that was threatening to drown me this one December Saturday morning. 

I was in one of those moods that I knew that if I didn’t FORCE myself to get moving….to get out of my robe and into my big girl (fleece-lined) chamois …..and #doitanyway……I would be sunk. 

Maybe for the day. 

Maybe for days on end. 

Who knows? 

So I got all the cold gear on….the Mrs. Claus costume…..sweating…..cursing the weather. 

Cursing how the covid 19 pounds had made everything feel tight. 

I looked like Ralphie from A Christmas Story, by the time I clipped in. 

But I did it. 

In spite of myself. In spite of my mood. 

I was gone 45 minutes. 

No, It wasn’t epic. 

And I bet I didn’t cover 4 miles. 

But I overcame my brain ad that’s what was important. 

I did something VERY simple….

But also very hard to improve my experience of this god-forsaken year. 

I road my bike for 4 miles…..In grey skies, wind and 33 temps.

Again……For a mere 45 minutes. 


Because I choose my experience…..Not my brain. 

Not my circumstances.

Did I feel better mentally? Yes and no. The fresh air made me tired. 

But the win over my brain made me proud. And for THAT I’m glad I #diditanyway.

And I hope you do too.