Wednesday, January 20, 2016

It's good to be back

When I went home for Christmas, it was pretty balmy around here: no snow down, and some nights I didn't even need gloves - in December! But I came back to proper winter conditions. I was all keen to get the bike out for the first snowy rides of the season, but discovered the first day I wheeled it out into the hallway that the brakes were bottoming out on the handlebars, and if I pulled them all the way and pushed the bike, the wheels would still turn. Not so safe.

Being on a clock that day, I sighed, put the bike back into my apartment, and took the damn car. 

And then I had an extremely busy week, with no time to fix the brakes, and I didn't have fenders on the Nakamura anyway, or a rack. . . 

So, what with one thing and another, I didn't get back on the bike until yesterday, when I finally had the time to haul the bike out and make sure it was safe to ride. And then I rode to a meeting that night, and to the rock gym tonight. And it was absolutely great to be back.

Here are the options: I could take the car. Sit in there, stuck in traffic, fighting condensation on the inside and ice on the outside, not clearly able to see around me. Scrape ice and snow off it. Shuffle parking at work, trying to fit three or four cars into one driveway, having to back them in and out. Negotiate snowbanks and slippery, narrow, steep streets where I work. Deal with skids and sketchy instersections, and other drivers. Deal with a freezing steering wheel. Wait for ten minutes in a parking lot with the engine and fan running so the windshield can defrost enough that I can see where I'm going.

Or, I could have 360-degree visibility and the option of getting the hell out of traffic if it starts getting sketchy, never have to scrape ice or brush snow, warm up within minutes of leaving home, park anywhere I damn well please, and get to watch my breath steam in the beam from my headlamp. I can have my heart rate up and lungs taking in cold air. I can have quiet, dark streets at night with that hissing noise under my tires where they're cutting through a thin layer of slush, and the moon overhead.

I'll take option two, thanks.

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