It’s cold here now, which strangely feels good. It feels more seasonal. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, but day-after-day of record high temperatures can get a little bit unnerving, what with global warming and all. We’ve enjoyed a nice long warm Indian summer this fall, but all good things must come to an end and I’d really prefer not to be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday in shorts and a t-shirt. Call me a traditionalist that way. With this change in the weather, a change in my wardrobe is also in order. No more so than in my choice of bicycle riding attire. I rode yesterday, but I was insufficiently dressed for the weather and had to cut short my ride. It is sometimes difficult to match your daily get-up to the day’s weather, when the weather is changing fast, but today I was more than adequately decked out in full winter weather kit: bike shoes, wool and Gortex socks, tights, bike shorts, base layer, fleece, windbreaker, skull-cap, helmet and two pairs of gloves, all dotted with shiny reflective strips in order to be seen in this season’s failing light, think iridescent. I was probably a wee bit over dressed. I generally like to run a little bit lean in the fall, before the temperatures fall dangerously low. I think that it toughens you up or something, but I didn’t do it this time. I enjoyed luxuriating in my own self-generating warmth.
One nice thing about cold weather is that it really clears off the bike path in Forest Park. I practically had the pathway all to myself. I did make my sanity quotient today, which requires me to see a minimum of six other riders also out and about, but it was a bit of a struggle and took most of my ride to get there. It was quieter today, if you ignored the howling wind. Many of the other riders and pedestrians, which there were way fewer of too, waved at me. I felt a spirit of kinship or comradery with those others who had also chose to brave the plunging mercury. I really shouldn’t get too braggadocios about all this, because the temperature was still in the forties. Colder weather is sure to come, but I still have way more bike clothes yet to wear. I can garb myself so well that I resemble the Michelin man and end up looking like some sort of bouncing ball atop my bike seat. Even in freezing weather, I’ll be out there. Every day I can, I’ll throw one leg over my shiny steed and ride off to do battle with the elements. Then next year, when those first new green shoots of spring began to appear, all wobbly on their rubbery legs, I’ll be able to ride them down. Charge!