Frankly, I give a damn.
I bike, because it’s convenient and fun and helps me burn the guilty calories when I, say, eat half a batch of cookie dough in one sitting.
The trouble is, biking doesn’t seem convenient or fun lately.
For one thing, winter has come to the Front Range. I’m not sure why this makes me want to bike less. I biked all winter in D.C., where traffic is heavier and precipitation more frequent. While Denver temps dip lower than those in our nation’s capital, the drier climate, more prevalent bike lanes, and kinder motorists should be enough to get me out riding.
Actually, I don’t think riding in the cold is actually that uncomfortable.
In fact, apart from the first few minutes of shivering and the perpetual running nose, the cool, fresh air in your lungs is a good deal more enjoyable than the stifling sweatiness of summer riding. I think it’s the preparation that gets to me. The thought of putting on hat, gloves, scarf, helmet, and a thicker pair of socks just to go to the grocery store has left me eating cereal for dinner more than once since the weather turned.
I don’t need a car. I need a personal dressing attendant, like Scarlett O’Hara.
She’d tell me to put my hands in the air, and then slip a thermal underwear shirt over my head. Then, she’d help me into a fleece jacket and zip it for me. Instead of cinching my girdle, she’d cinch the strap on my helmet over my stocking cap. She’d hold my gloves for me while I slid my hands in and then pull my sleeves over the top of them, so they won’t creep up en route, leaving a forearm exposed to the elements.
She’d check to make sure I had both front and back lights in my bag—in case I didn’t make it home before daylight-savings nightfall—and toss in an extra face-warmer before hoisting it over my head and adjust the shoulder strap to the perfect spot where it won’t move , chafe, or choke. Just before I closed the door behind me, she’d apply my SPF 15 chapstick and offer me a pair of sunglasses. Then, she’d unlock my bike and carry it to the curb for me while I waddled down the stairs.
Considering that I am not an antebellum southern belle, perhaps I need to streamline my system for self-winterization. Any suggestions?