Thursday, June 7, 2012

Target-ing a bike trip to a Twins game (get it?)

Well, I'm finally doing it. I'm finally going on the bike trip I've been wanting to do for almost two years. A day ride that mixes city trails with country roads, goes past a waterfall and ends with catching a Twins game.

That's right. This coming Saturday (two days from now), I'm hopping on my bike and going to my first game at Target Field.

I mentioned my intent to do this in a post a couple of months ago. Really, it's something I've wanted to do ever since I biked past the Twins' newest baseball cathedral for the first time two summers ago. I love biking and I love baseball, so it only makes sense to combine the two into one glorious ride.

Given my long-standing desire to pursue this trip, one would think that this specific date has been in the works for some time. However, that's definitely not the case. I didn't know I had the weekend off until recently and even then, I wasn't aware that the Twins were in town until I looked up their schedule after being apprised of the unexpected days off.

Even after learning all of that, I still wasn't totally sure I wanted to pull the trigger on the trip. The game is an interleague matchup against the Cubs, and since interleague bouts are considered "premium games," the tickets are more expensive than regular games. Plus the game starts at 1:10 p.m., meaning I'll have to leave my apartment no later than 7 a.m. if I want any chance of biking the 64 miles (bike route here) I need to cover to make it Target Field on time (definitely not a morning person, so that'll suck). On top of all that, Saturday's weather forecast calls for clear skies and high temps, meaning I get to look forward to 90 degree heat and sun bearing down on me for most of the ride.

Those were all drawbacks I had to consider when deciding what to do with the weekend. But after thinking about it, I decided to dismiss them on the basis of something I've come to realize about myself: That I've been too caught up in making excuses not to do the trip instead of just shutting up and doing it. That's why I've been wanting to do the trip for so long but never got around to it; I kept talking myself out of it.

I think that's something a lot of people struggle with when it comes to doing something adventurous or challenging. It's easy to go the "safe route" with things and stay within the comfort of regular routine. It's familiar and you know you have reasonable control over what happens to you.

But if you're anything like me, there's always a small part of you wondering "What else is out there?" or "I want to challenge myself." It's the reason why so many people have a bucket of things they'd like to do and places they'd like to see before they die.

We crave adventure and yearn for challenge, but most of the time, the vast majority of us do little about it. Either we get too caught up in everyday life or we get scared and start making excuses. Or some combination of both.

Sometimes, all it takes to get past that is telling yourself "Screw it, I'm going to go for it," which is exactly what happened to me. It might not be the most planned-out-in-advance trip ever, but sometimes, you have to be spontaneous to break through that wall of self-doubt. (note: The spontaneity is also why this post is being written a mere two days before the trip. I wanted to write about it in advance, but it's hard to do things "in advance" when the decision is spur of the moment)

As an added bonus, I spoke to my dad earlier this week and convinced him and my step mom to join me for the game. Topping that off, my dad told me that the Famous Dave's in uptown Minneapolis has an all-day blues festival going on, essentially planning out my post-game activities for me.

For my regular readers, I'll be packing my laptop and -- internet permitting -- doing Twitter updates throughout the day. If there's some downtime during the day, I'll also try to hammer out a blog entry and possibly post photos/video.

Just typing out this blog entry made me more excited for the trip. Here's hoping for some glorious tail wind.

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