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Some Days are made for Playing Hooky; The Best way I know to Burn a Sick Day


February 2018

I have a bit of a problem, and before I even get into this, it’s a good problem to have… I give myself five sick days a year, on top of a couple weeks of vacation. The problem is, I don’t get sick often. It’s been two years since I burned a sick day because I was actually sick, so by and large my sick days go unused.

For the most part.

Every now and again, as a cyclist, I bump into a perfect day for a ride and the standard 16-17 mile evening ride won’t do.  Yesterday was one of those days.

This past winter was ridiculous as weather goes.  Last year I was able to log 400 outdoor miles between January and February.  This year, a measly 183, and a third of those were in the last four days – in other words, we’ve been stuck inside for a long stretch.

Yesterday’s forecast called for mid 50’s (12 C), mostly sunny skies and a mild breeze.  The mild breeze part was a little off but the sunshine and mild temperature bit was right on.  We rode at 8:30 in the morning, call it 38 (3 C) and rising.  My buddy Mike, my wife and I fought the wind for eighteen miles before letting it push us home.  As one would expect, that eighteen miles into the wind wasn’t the greatest but the return trip was a blast.

The abundance of sun had taken the temp from just above freezing to 56° (13 C) in just an hour and, for the first time in four months I was warm on a bike ride.  It was spectacular.

36 miles and some change, a little more than two hours, and a fantastic morning.  It was so awesome I went into work after showering up.  I was never very good at taking time off anyway.


  1. kevinkidder says:

    Great post! Love taking sick days in spring for a ride! I usually take several mental health days a year for that reason.

  2. every day is hooky and a sick day when you’re laid off and unemployed. great except for the isolation and poverty! probably due for another bike ride to cheer myself up. right after something restful and a tasty nap. strike that. reverse it. thanks jim for the post.

  3. Dan says:

    I know that feeling about our crazy cold and NEEDING a good ride! Mine was yesterday with driving an empty bus to Chicago today….always an adventure unto itself!!

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