Not only is the mild winter pouring cold rain down our backs as we wish our way through another “riding” weekend, but the bacteria running rampant without a good freeze are causing sniffles, sore throats and weeks of hacking coughs.

I know some people like to believe that as they are coming down with something it’s best to ride hard to flush it out of the system, but I don’t believe that. I think that only causes the body to be worn down, allowing whatever virus or bacteria to take advantage of the weakened state.

One good example is that whenever I go through periods of working my body really hard for several weeks, pushing every ride or run, I end up sick. I think that when all the nutrients are used up and the muscles are fatigued, slurping up every bubble of oxygen and spare B vitamin, that it takes only the smallest of germs to have its way.

Those kind of riding weeks allow me to sleep better, that’s for sure, falling into bed exhausted. It’s nights like that when I don’t even move, and upon waking in the morning feel more like I’ve survived a coma and now have a numb limb from the way I’ve slept on it. Then again, it’s hard to remember that, because now I fall into bed exhausted over being beaten all day by the children. I’m lucky to get a quick ride in, and am too much of a weenie to pull the baby in the trailer any more. Or maybe it’s the argument I don’t want to have with him, because he now is adept at voicing his refusals to get in the contraption any more. Maybe I need to make it look more like a motorcycle and he’d want to. Although I find that when wearing an iPod up very loud he doesn’t complain near as much…

So the bacteria in these warm winters are not getting killed off, and nearly every door handle seems to be coated in germs. I cringe every time I see my 3-year-old with his fingers in his mouth. Even my 8-year-old, who has only been sick twice in his life got the strep throat. We got it at the same time, as I cannot stop smooching my children, even through a veil of snot. I started my antibiotics before becoming miserable and was ecstatic at my planning since I was to leave on a much-needed week-long solo trip.

Three days into my trip the soldiers began falling around me, fevered and groaning as I rushed to the store for Emergen C, green juice and antibacterial fluid for everything that had been touched. I’ve been working out every day, so I just know that these bugs are going to gang up on me and can almost hear them laughing out loud.

Today I will not work out. I will jump on this motorcycle instead, heading up Pacific Coastal Highway 1 to Big Sur where I will soak my bones in the hot springs at Esalen Institute. A girl’s gotta’ do what a girl’s gotta do…