Are you feeling listless and apathetic? Does your life lack direction? In the morning do you set your hair dryer to “cool” and point it at your face just to recreate the feeling of the wind blowing through your hair?
If so, you may be suffering from PCSD: Post Cycling Stress Disorder. It’s an illness that affects millions of Canadian every year at this time. The days are shorter and winter weather is upon us. That means Canadians who have happily cycled to work since the spring must once again put their bikes in storage. Though some will brave the wintry ice and snow on two wheels most are forced to take public transit or drive.
The result is a seasonal disorder epitomized by hopelessness, depression and, in some extreme cases, the feeling of fat coagulating on your body.
Are you suffering from PCSD? Take this quiz and find out.
1. When I imagine commuting by car I think:
a) “I love being isolated in a rolling steel cell while listening to talk radio. If I won “Cash for Life” that’s exactly what I’d spend the money on.”
b) “Awesome! Now I can bone up on all the sitting I’ve been meaning to do.”
c) “If I sell my house and worldly possessions and leave my family, I could quit my job and move to Tuscany and start a bicycle repair shop.”
d) All of the above.
2. Answer “yes” or “no” to the following statement. “Taking public transit is better than cycling because…”
a) Cycling is too predictable. You always know when you’re going to reach your destination. With public transit, you never know. A trip that should take 20 minutes could be anywhere from 45 minutes to five hours. Variety is the spice of life!
b) It’s important to keep your immune system strong by contracting as many viruses as possible.
c) If I stand in puke at home I’ll wonder how it got there. When I’m on public transit I know that’s just what it’s like on the subway.
d) A crowded bus full of odorous people is just God’s way of saying, “You must submit to supreme suffering in order to discover the completion of joy.”
e) “At least I know that the later I have to work the fewer buses there will be for me to take home.”
3. The thing I will miss most about cycling is:
a) Not spending around one hundred bucks a month on transit.
b) Not spending $18 a day on parking.
c) The meditative transition of bicycling time between home and work.
d) Feeling superior when I run into colleagues in the elevator and I’m carrying my bike helmet.
e) All of the above.
4) I won’t bicycle during the winter because:
a) I fear snow.
b) I fear cold.
c) I fear ice.
d) I fear cars driving on ice-cold snow.
5) To fight stress during the winter when I can’t bicycle I…
a) Ride a stationary bike.
b) Try to recreate the cycling experience by standing by the side of the road waiting for motorists to almost kill me.
c) Have a family member hide in a closet and then “door” me once a week.
1. d | 3. e | 4. d | 5. c (score 1 point for each correct answer)
2. For each “yes” score 1 point.
Score: 1-3 “The minivan suits you well.”
Score: 4-6 “Consider taking more walks.”
Score: 7-10 “You may as well bike all winter.”
I scored 8! Guess I’ll be keeping my bike out this winter!
2 points … but you won’t catch me in a minivan! I bike in the summer, walk in the winter.