So why do I occasionally feel the urge to ride when it's cold outside. Stingy finger cold!
After all, it seems that most riders have put away their bikes for the winter, seldom making an appearance on the roads of the city. Last Saturday afternoon, the temperatures rose to about 60 F, and there were lots more riders out than I had seen in a long time. Even the sport bikers were out. But on Monday after it had turned colder again, none of those folks were to be seen.
And I admit that I haven't commuted to work as regularly on Max as I have in past years. That first year in particular saw me out there almost every day unless there was snow or ice on the roads. I rode in 10 F weather. I mean really brisk, stark days that your dog wouldn't even want to venture out in.
And do I have something to prove?
I'm not sure. Deep in my psyche maybe I want to prove that I can still do it after a heart attack and 2 cardiac arrests. It really is more dangerous for me to be out there when it's that cold. But I can tell when I am feeling up to it or not, and some days I know I am not ready for the cold, therefore I don't ride.
And then maybe I am just trying to puff up my chest and tell the world what a tough guy I am, out there riding in silly cold weather. Something "Tribal" to prove. Strutting the colors of my denim winter jacket like some peacock would display its feathers. Are we really that much different than the animals?
So today the Weatherbug App on the iPhone said it was 22 F when I left the house. I had to get some gas on the way in. I took a little different route downtown, a little slower and less traffic. I heard a flock of birds chirping at one intersection. The sun was bright. My visor and eyeglasses were fogging up regularly so I rode with the helmet visor partially open most of the way. (Are some of my helmet vents open?, Or closed?, need to experiment with that a little more)
I was actually quite warm, 5 layers on top, 3 layers on my legs, feet fine with boots and boot socks.
It was just my fingers that got cold and that's usually the way it is. Now many of you have suggested in the past and could again mention today that I should invest in some heated gloves or some other clever device with the goal of aiding the warmth in my fingers.
To that I say, Naaaahhh!
Its only a few minutes of discomfort. I suppose if I were going to be out there for a really long ride, then sure, I'll invest in some warmth farkle, but for a 15 minute ride?
After all, maybe I'm out to try and prove that I can endure some pain. At age 56, I'm still one of the baddest of the bad!
Yeah? A Badass?
Well I doubt that, too, but I know one thing. Pirsig alluded to the fact that when you were out there riding, you were actually living and part of the world, experiencing much that you would miss if you were looking out the window of a cage. Today I was living and experiencing and even if it was cold, it was well worth it!
The afternoon ride home should be even more fantastic!
Ride On and Carpe Diem, my friends!