I had a conversation with myself recently:
It’s cold outside.
Well it’s winter. What’d you expect?
But I wanna go for a bike ride!
So go for a bike ride!
But it’s so coooooooold!
Suck it up! You’ve got a hat!
…And that conversation went on in my head for about a half an hour when I finally gave in and decided that I’d bundle up and try it out. My hubby aired up the tires to the Dream Machine while I put on 2 Under Armor Cold Gear shirts, a pair of medium weight tights, a pair of fleece pants and a pair of wind pants (Yeah, I wore 3 pairs of pants. If I had some fancy cold weather tights, I would have done that. But I don’t, so I layered.) I also donned a neoprene face mask, a fleece ear wrap, my helmet, 2 pairs of gloves, and my new neoprene toe covers. Oh, and my coat.
I’ll admit: it was a lot of work.
But then I rolled my bike out passed my snow covered lawn onto the slightly-icy street, hopped on, took off towards the river, and was immediately glad I’d talked myself into going! Afterall, the day was sunny, and most of the ice was confined to the edges of the streets or occasional bad corners, so it wasn’t that bad outside. Once I reached the river road, it was smooth sailing and I cruised along.
I decided to ride a route most Quincy cyclists would be familiar with- the Knaphide Loop- and it was a great choice for the day. I spotted no fewer than 5 bald eagles, probably a half dozen red tail hawks and even a triplet of kestrels all out hunting. One of the red tails had a fish so big in tow that he couldn’t seem to make it higher than a couple of feet off the ground and occasionally had to land in the field and rest. I followed him a while. He really didn’t like me so close, but then again, he wasn’t going to leave his prize either, so he tolerated me for a while.
The 34 degree weather didn’t bother me much. In fact, when I was heading North, I was almost overheating. I especially enjoyed my double pair of gloves. I’ve been putting a pair of rubberized football receiver gloves over a cheap pair of cotton gloves and they’re just the right combination of wind-proof and warm while still being nice and thin.
By the time I turned back to the South, a pretty decent breeze had picked up (an aside: can I ever go riding on the bottom road without a South wind!?!??!) and for the first time I felt a little chilled. To combat the cold, I just pedaled harder, and before I knew it I was back in town. I even stopped at River Skate, Quincy’s new outdoor ice rink, to say hello to my friend Chris before heading back up the bluff hill towards home.
It was a great solo ride and I was happy to get outside and enjoy the day.
What I learned is that it’s sometimes more work to talk yourself into going out the door on a cold day, but just like any other day, you’re going to be happy you found a reason to say YES to your Adventure Foot.
This little bike ride happened to be on December 30th and was my last bike ride of 2012. It made my total miles this year 2504. That’s well over double my 1230 miles registered in 2011 when I started this whole cycling thing. As a matter of fact, that’s like leaving my house, biking to San Francisco then taking the coast up to Portland. My 2013 plan? I guess I’ll just keep on riding.