“Real cyclists aren’t afraid of the weather”
I snapped a picture of myself and sent it to my wife, who was at her weekend spin class. I told her to share it with her “cycling” friends. They got a kick out of it, especially Chuck who relayed a story about getting icicles riding a motorcycle one time. Something about never again.
I was reminded of an epic cold ride on a motorcycle. It was the year I withdrew from school and called up my Forest Service boss to see about a job. Told me he had a seasonal position open in late March. My motor transport back then was a Honda 350 motorcycle. I dithered around Missoula, procrastinating driving to Spokane. I used the weather as an excuse until I was out of time. So the day before I was scheduled to start I strapped by backpack and seabag to the Honda and set off wearing as many layers as I could.
In order to get to Spokane I had to cross Lookout Pass on the Montana/Idaho border. Late March is not a time to ride a motorcycle up that pass. Of course it was snowing. Not that cold but at highway speeds the wind chill was unbelievable.
After crossing the pass I stopped in the small town of Wallace, ID. There was a cafe open. I stumbled in and all the diners went silent as I stepped through the door, encrusted in snow, holding my helmet and shivering. The waitress behind the counter laughed and said “honey, you look like you need some coffee.” More laughter from the other patrons. A guy at the counter asked incredulously “did you just ride a bike over the pass?”
After coffee and some awesome soup I pressed on. When I got to my grandparents house in Spokane it took an hour long hot shower to warm up. Then it was a scramble to dry everything out and get ready for work the next day. That week I learned how to drive a snow cat and did data plots wearing snowshoes. Ahhhh…spring time in the far north.
Not that cold
That probably explains why I chose to go riding my bike this morning. My brain was frozen back then and I killed off the part that controls self-preservation. Actually, that experience and others like it taught me to prepare for weather.
In fact I probably overdressed this morning. My upper body was very warm. The only issue was my toes. Not distressing but a little uncomfortable. I didn’t break out my wind covers for the shoes and the two layers of thin wool weren’t much help.
I pedaled down to Mueller to check out the farmer’s market. If they’re setting up, it can’t be that cold, right?
I also rolled over to the new children’s museum, called The Thinkery. This part of the Mueller development is still building out. Lots of construction in progress. The museum looks like it will be an anchor for the “town center.”
Raging ambivalence about Mueller. So much potential to be a densely developed, walkable community. In actuality, it has become another suburban-like monument to the car. Too bad.
Now it’s sip on some warm coffee and submit some 3-1-1 repair requests for various issues I saw on the ride. Later…soup…lots of hot soup.