Saturday, December 7, 2013

In Which The Wind Bites At My Cheeks

Am I smiling? At what? That I'm not in the wind anymore?

OK, your local neighborhood bike commuter was up to full winter regalia, today.

I had on 3 pairs of socks, long underwear, blue jeans, three shirts (an undershirt, a long-sleeved light shirt and a heavy sweatshirt). I wore my wind-cutting bike jacket, had my hood up and had warm mittens on my hands.

I rode my bike to Mount Mercy this afternoon to retrieve some video files for the student newspaper there. The university has just named a new president who starts next year, and student editors are working on news coverage of the announcement.

I was OK riding to campus, although, even with three pairs of socks, my toes got a bit cold. After working a while, my wife picked me up so we could go to church and then go visit her mother during a holiday open house at a nursing home.

Then, my wife took me back to MMU, where I rode my bike home in the dark.

The air was bitterly cold. The temperature was in single digits. The wind chill was a reality I don’t want to think about. Since I usually hit around 18 mph during stretches of the ride home, that means I was riding in an 18 mph wind when the air was still. And I don’t think it was still. I was headed north, and it felt like Canada was trying to fly south. Who could blame it?

Well, my niece, who I saw at the nursing home, commented that my face would freeze on the way home when she heard her slightly insane uncle was planning to ride a bike. She was short of right. The winter regalia protected most of me, but not my nose or cheeks. So I had a rather weathered, windblown look by the time I got home, don’t you think? Note how my own breath has formed a frost on my rather fetching scarf.

I snapped the photo on this blog post right after I put my bike away. My helmet was off—but yes, I do wear my bike helmet over my hood for winter rides.

After all, I don’t want to be crazy!

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