Yesterday's commute may have been the coldest I've had in two years. Or maybe it wasn't: Last year's winter-that-wasn't may well have spoiled me so that a normal winter day seems absolutely frigid.
Anyway, when I got to work, I exchanged wishes for a happy new year with the office manager and secretary. "You didn't ride your bike today?," they wondered in unison.
I nodded and grinned. Then, the office manager, who is about ten years older, expressed her incomprehension that I wasn't wearing a long, heavy coat. I explained that, underneath my silk jacket, I was wearing two other layers.
In more than three decades of riding to work and/or school, I have seen increasing numbers of people do the same, and even ride for recreation or sport. However, it seems that just as many people now as then share my coworkers' incredulity over the way we dress.
Sometimes I think that to be a cyclist, you have to be something of an educator as well. That may not change any time soon and, if nothing else, I have something like the requisite skill set.
But I digress. I have found that, even when I'm not cycling or engaging in other vigorous activity, dressing in layers makes more sense than wearing a heavy top coat although I occasionally sport the latter for purposes of fashion. (Plus, it is easier to slip a wool overcoat than a cycling or ski jacket over a suit or dress!) Even if I'm just taking a leisurely stroll or doing nothing more strenuous than climbing the stairs to a gallery, I prefer the freedom of movement--and the ability to add or remove articles of clothing as the temperature changes--afforded by layers of clothing.
I suspect that I will continue to have exchanges like the one I had yesterday for as long as I'm cycling in cold weather. There are certainly more difficult and unpleasant tasks!