09 January 2011

Bonhomme de Neige, Au Velo

If you've ever wondered what I looked like when I was riding my bike during the winter, back in the day, take a look:

Feom:  "A Short Introduction To Cycling

OK.  So I didn't have as much of a sense of style as he does.  But what do you expect?  He's in France!

When I was a messenger, I did a fair amount of cycling in in snow and sleet.  Once, I had to make a delivery on a street that was a solid sheet of ice.  If I remember correctly, I was riding a three-speed bike with knobby tires.  Somehow I managed to ride, without falling, to my destination.  The man who signed for it gave me a tip and shook my hand.  From the expression on his face, I couldn't tell whether he truly appreciated my efforts, admired my endurance or was covertly ridiculing my stupidity.

Then there was the morning I cycled to work and it was 8 degrees below zero (Farenheit, that is).  At least it was dry and the sky was clear.  Plus, the fact that I was keeping a pretty good pace (Or was it the, ahem, substances I used to, ahem, fortify myself?) kept me from feeling the cold even more than I might have otherwise.  In fact, I felt colder while I was working:  It may actually have been colder in the automotive radiator shop where I did, basically, whatever found me.  I guess that was part of the responsibility that came with making 75 cents more, per hour, than the minimum wage at that time--and I was still in college!

Now, wouldn't you get up in the morning and ride half an hour in minus-8 for that?   The guy in the photo does it for less!

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