Monday, November 21, 2011

A Cool Ride on a Frosty Morning

I was a bit rushed this morning—Monday—and had to buy gas for our minivan, which my son is using for a trip.

Got it done, he’s on his way, and I made it to campus at a reasonable time on my two wheels. It was one of the more gorgeous rides. The temperature was in the 20s, and a heavy frost lay on windows, roofs and grass.

Had to scrape the van before my gas trip, but it’s nice to ride a vehicle that has nothing to scrape!

When it’s in the 20s, it’s cold enough for almost full winter clothing—two pairs of socks, long underwear. I wore a shirt and sweater, as well as my usual nylon biking jacket—a thin jacket that says “Canon” on it—it came from a camera store in town—but which has a hood I can wear under my helmet. And though thin, the coat cuts the wind very well.

And wind matters. If it had been breezy, it could have been a very cold morning. Since it was not, it was very pleasant.

I was thinking about how much I’m saving in gas. I “drive” 10 miles a day on my bike. If I drove our Beetle, it might burn ½ a gallon a day (that’s in-town miles). That would be 2.5 gallons a week—maybe $8 worth of gas. If I ride to campus 30 weeks a year, that would be $240. The bike costs $50 a year or so to maintain, but it’s payback would be around two years.

Of course, there are other values at stake. For one thing, I don’t always bike—rain or snow will stop me. And, even if there were no savings or payback, I would still bike.

It’s my quiet alone time. My think about the day time. My get a little exercise time. My I don’t seem to suffer seasonal depression because I see the low morning sun even in the dead of winter time.

Totally worth it.

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