I have long known that I am a Weather Junkie. One of my good friends and I often half-joke about becoming storm chasers in our retirement. I love wild weather and the times I love it most are when I'm on the bike, whether it be winter or summer.
Yesterday morning's ride in to work was the kind of winter riding I live for. It was fairly cold (-10 C), snowing, very windy (like push you around windy) and the streets had just a little snow and almost no ice on them. I could enjoy the wild weather with very little fear of slipping or sliding. Anyway, here's a video:
Riding in such weather always results in strings of questions from my co-workers. In case any of my readers have similar questions, here they are, with my usual answers:
Q: Are You Insane?
A: No! Well, yes. No. Wait, wait! Stop that! Woof! Grrr! Shut up! SHUT UP! (sorry, not you...)
Q: Don't you get cold?
A: Not at all. When you're working on the bike it is easy to stay warm, in fact a little too easy.
Q: But what about your face in that wind?
A: I wear a balaclava, ski goggles and my helmet. My face, ears and eyes are all toasty warm. I don't even wear the balaclava over my face most days.
Q: What if you slip and fall?
A: Believe it or not, I am way less likely to slip on ice while riding on my studded tires than when I am on foot, or in my car for that matter. On some snow, when I am not sure of my control, I stop riding when cars are anywhere near me.
Q: But what about the cars in general?
A: I have been riding with cars in the street for years. I know how to do it safely.
Q: Yeah, but do they?
A: Part of doing it safely is accounting for the possible actions of unskilled drivers and/or morons. It is something that can be done, winter or summer, and that any cyclist can learn.
Q: well, actually TS: (for testy statement) - There should be a law against riding your bike on the street in winter. It just isn't safe.
A: When did you last ride a bike in the street, let alone in winter? Get back to me when you've ridden to work and back every single day for three (or is it four?) winters without a scratch or even a close call with a car. Until then, I think I'll decide for myself on that safety thing.
Please note that this answer only ever happens after a discussion escalates to the point that I'm really getting ticked off.
Q: Don't you feel like a goof in that stupid outfit?
A: I used to but I just don't seem to care any more. Does that mean I have gained confidence? Or am I just old and ugly and happily married enough to know that how I look doesn't really matter? Is that in itself confidence, or just the words of a man too lazy to bother trying any more? Am I telling myself...
That was starting to turn into a therapy session. More on this in a future post perhaps.
Well, that's it for now I think. As always, thanks for reading.