Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Overly Chilly

This morning was the first (but probably not the last) time this year that I was seriously underdressed for the bike ride to work. My threshold for turning the bike around, going back home, and adding layers is dependent on how late I'm running; this morning I was late enough that I was only a block away when I realized it was too cold for my thermal shirt and sweats, but I kept going. I didn't realize until I got to work that the temperature was 48 degrees. Add windchill (I bike fast), and it's close to frostbite temperature. Tomorrow I'm bundling up.

We're at that odd time of the year when it's significantly warmer on my ride to work than on my ride home. So unless I carry extra cycling clothes in addition to my work clothes, I can't be appropriately dressed for both halves of the commute. I'd rather be uncomfortably warm or cool one way than carry the extra baggage. It doesn't help that I'm improvising my outfits; I feel a bit of unhealthy envy when I see cycle commuters pedaling around in sleek, expensive cold-weather clothes that actually keep them warm and dry and happy. I end up going with the layering method, working under the assumption that a large-enough quantity of cheap, inappropriate clothing will functionally equal a small quantity of expensive clothing. It kept me warm enough last winter, though it's less fun than actually having the right tools for the job.

Cycling in the winter is less fun all around than cycling in the summer. In the summer, cycling everywhere makes me feel fit, healthy, active, environmentally aware. Winter cycling in my moderately tacky layers of heavy clothing makes me feel more like a clod who can't afford a car....

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