It’s not winter yet, in Chicago, by a long stretch of the imagination, but yesterday our high was around 57 or so, which was half that of Los Angeles. Yeah, LA set a new record at 113 degrees. I feel really bad for the homeless in LA when this happens. In Chicago, we have cooling centers and places for the homeless to cool of. There’s a lake and no one complains if the smelly guy goes to sit in it. Meanwhile, LA has many more homeless people, given that the weather is generally temperate, and no cooling centers. Heck, most homes I know of don’t even have AC!
But this is about enjoying bicycling, not the weather.
Biking in the cold is a bit different from the warm. First off, when you know you’re going to be biking in the cold, you actually want to dress one level down from what you think you need. If you’re comfortable in your clothes just standing outside, you’re wearing too much. At 45-60 degrees, I tend to wear a polar fleece. I have three different options, one of which is (I have learned) too warm for 50s, but perfect for the 40s. That said, it’s the only jacket of the lot, so I can unzip it and get a cooling breeze.
Oddly enough, I find I want to be warm in my stomach (not my back), and my lower arms. Which suddenly explains to me those weird 1980s sleeves. For now, my winter goal is November. If I can bike up to Thanksgiving, I win. With the sole exception of the day I came to work and then left to go to a funeral, I have ridden my bicycle to work every single day since April 10th. That’s a bit impressive to me. I feel good about it too.
And I’m a good bicyclist too! Yesterday, over the mile and a half from work to the train, I raced a city bus. At the half-way point, he was a bit ahead, but another bus was taking up his lane (and all lanes actually), by turning and having to wait for pedestrians. Me and my bike zipped around the back of the bus and I heard a honk. Looking back, the bus driver of my bus was cheering and the light turned red behind me.
Yeah, I felt good too.