Perception > Reality

A friend of mine admonished me last summer for confusing perception with reality. Funny thing is she hates cold weather. I think cold weather is a reality. How you deal with it is all in your head. Okay, clothing has a lot to do with it too. We all have our limits, but simply throwing in the towel when the thermostat drops a bit seems rather defeatist and pathetic. My reality is that riding in the cold for short stretches can actually be surprisingly comfortable and enjoyable.

On Tuesday I rode to work in pretty nasty conditions. The wind chill was 0 Farenheit. (She uses Centigrade. Maybe that’s her problem.)  I took it as an adventure. Not one I’d want to deal with every day but an adventure nonetheless.

One interesting side benefit from “enduring” the cold on Tuesday is that 40 degrees now seems pretty damned comfy. I rode to work today and was having trouble avoiding being too warm. Of course, I stopped off at Friday Coffee Club. The joint was jumping. Even Froggie, now a resident of northern Vermont made an appearance. He gave me a small bottle of maple syrup too. Thanks, Froggie.

Mary was handing out Coffeeneuring patches. They are pretty spiffy. I didn’t get one because I didn’t participate this year. I drink plenty of coffee as it is having added incentive to get all jagged out on caffeine on successive weekends doesn’t work for me. Incidentally, I also don’t participate in Freezing Saddles. This is a friendly competition in which cycling teams ride during the winter. I don’t need an incentive to go out and break my neck on ice and snow. The Mule still bears the damage (slightly bent handlebar, slightly damaged brake lever) from last winter’s icy folly. I’ll likely be back at it for the Errandonnee in a few months.

From Coffee Club, I rode G Street to the TR Bridge. At a red light, I watched in horror as a bike messenger riding a bike with a really long front end  blew the light in heavy cross traffic. He made it across all three lanes but he pissed off all the drivers who had to take evasive action to avoid running him over.

The TR bridge has a stupidly narrow side path. I routinely stop to let DC-bound cyclists pass. Very few of them thank me. People who work in DC are more important than anyone else. Today, a DC-bound cyclists, a woman with her head wrapped like a burrito, said “Thanks. Have a great day.” What a shame this is exceptional.  We need more women on bicycles.

Since I took yesterday off from bike commuting, I had fresh legs on a Friday. This sounds like a bizarre lunch entree, doesn’t it? Well, that’s not what I meant. I was getting out of the saddle and riding with unusual vigor. Vigor at 8 am is really pretty damned alarming.

The ride home was a misty, foggy, dark affair. There’s a joke in there somewhere but I’m not touching it. Ed, who needs a nickname to avoid being confused with the other Ed, rode part of the way home with me. I veered off to go to the bank. There was a bad busker near the ATM. Banking really has gone downhill. It used to be you’d go inside the bank and interact with a human being, often a pretty young lady who was impressed by your massive…demand deposit. Nowadays, you stand in the rain and listen to this dreary busker play bad trumpet then start singing out of key. Perhaps he should take up the guitar to free up his mouth for singing. It worked for Paul McCartney.

The rest of the ride home was much more pleasant than the ATM. That’s the reality. To hell with perception.



One thought on “Perception > Reality

  1. I found that I had to just acclimate myself, perhaps in my head as much as my gear, to cold weather. Today we have 15mph winds with an actual temp of 7. The sun’s shining at least.

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