Friday, October 16, 2009


Everybody around these parts is probably familiar with the term SAD—seasonal affective disorder. New research that shows a strong link with deficient Vitamin D, and it’s not easy getting adequate sunlight in Seattle in the wintertime. What about a possible link between SAD and cycling? Well, maybe it’s SAD that is causing what I’m calling SAC—seasonally affected cyclists. Or is SAC triggering SAD?

Every year at about this time in the fall, cyclists seem to go into their own little caves. People stop waving, nodding, or calling out a greeting; in fact, many seem to be hanging their heads a few inches above the handlebar. Many approaching riders don’t even lift their heads.

In the summer, it’s all giggles and friendliness, and almost every cyclist you see gives you a friendly acknowledgment. From now until spring or summer, the same cyclists appear to have tunnel vision, and the tunnel doesn’t extend to the opposite side of the road where I am. Shouldn’t our fewer numbers in the winter provoke a more kindred spirit?

I haven’t decided on my strategy for this year’s winter season. Should I wave and/or call out to every cyclist regardless of whether they might totally ignore me, or should I just focus straight ahead? I could use my peripheral vision to see if one of them might make the first move, and then I could quickly acknowledge with a wave.

I’m lucky that I have so much flexibility. I ride my bike a lot, and I get outside to ride year round and soak up whatever Vitamin D is available, so I don’t think I turn into a SAD-SAC. I better keep waving so everybody recognizes that.

At least most pedestrians still say, “Hi,” this time of the year.

I hope to see you (waving) on the road.


Cascade Cyclist said...

What's the vitamin D dosage to avoid becoming a SAD-SAC?

Cascade Cyclist said...


Mark C said...

I definitely have SAD. I'm not as friendly, I don't get out to ride with others, and I mope around the house a lot. I don't look forward to the dark part of the year. Mark