This morning a significant part of me did not want to get on the bike. Sure, the ride in was going to be nice; it was 25 degrees. Forecast, though, for “flurries.” Same forecast as for Saturday when we got five inches. Low tonight: 6.
I steeled myself. My option when confronted with challenge is to respect the voice that says “you can’t” or “you shouldn’t,” and thus create an option, so that it can’t win when it really shouldn’t. I decided I’d ride the Gazelle in… and if it got ugly, I’d take the folding bike home on the bus so that there wouldn’t be two bikes out at school. Then I could bus in in that frigid morning and take the bike home whne I was good and ready.
We did get a few flurries, but honest “flurries,” nothing sticking, not even a dusting. The roads are really clear, at least my southern route home (some of campus was rock solid ice sheets – rumply as an unmade bed, but solid ice – this morning and I walked ’em, foolish as that is with the studs giving better traction than shoes, but as I said, I respect my avoidances ’cause hten they’d want me not to ride at all… in fact, it wasn’t that slippery to walk on. THerefore, it wasn’t too slippery to stud on… but it’s my commute and I’ll whine if I want to — *and* I left early so I got to work on time anyway.)
So I had enough layers on to make singing tough (“your voices sound constricted!” – um, oy, yea, there’s an awful lot of elastic around my middle…) but it was 19 at the start and 20 at the end at leaving time, so I donned my lights and took the long way around, because the tailwind was strong enough to chill me if I didn’t warm up riding reasonably briskly first, and with only one gear that’s hard. (It’s gear 3 — pretty easy — of the 7.)
As I left, the Green bus approached. I thought about racing it and sprinted parts of JOhn, but realized that I’d have to go a different route to see if it passed me, and I”m not inclined to travel Vine, so I cruised after that.
Another reason for my reluctance to ride was that I’ve been getting by with just a red blinky on the back of my backpack, and yes, it’s different. I found a string of baby white LEDs and just clumped them back there, and added two of those finger lights. Yes, cars gave me more time and space. Made me envision a poster: “Legal’ vs. “good.’
Then I turned onto State STreet and grasped what the bus driver was referring to as a citizen was walkijng on the bike lane towards me. It was mostly plowed, but the parking spaces werent, so it was actually a reasonably good sidewalk, with a few feet between the cars and the regular traffic lane.
I envisioned a second set of posters that I”m going to suggest, though it may be a solution in search of a problem. Two pictuers on it: one wiht a bike out in the car lane, and a driver pissed… the second zooming in on a legitimate reason for the bike to be there. Specifically, makin’ a left turn, glass or potholes, or whatever. Caption: “If I’m not in the bike lane, there’s a reason.” Then it occurred to me that the same could be done for bike paths, with a fast rider and then zooming in on the cute little children playing on the path, or that family with the kids with training wheels.
And yes, I was comfortably warm, head to toe. It felt really good. TOmorrow’s six degrees? I’m up for it.