Sunday, January 2, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Road Warrior - Photo take 1/2/11

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

I made a vow this winter that I would not be deterred from riding my bicycle merely because it’s cold outside.  I generally hunker down each winter, maybe go to some yoga classes, but generally stay out of the cold as much as possible.  I don’t like to be cold.  My fingertips start feeling frostbitten just thinking about cold weather.  Thoughts of curling up in an afghan with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate bring delight. 
But you see there’s this thing called SAD (seasonal affective disorder) that affects about 5% to 20% of the population and I’m pretty sure I have it to some degree.  Staying out of the sunlight is not a good formula for getting through the winter with a healthy mental outlook.  So what to do, what to do?

I really, really love to bicycle.  In the summer, I ride miles on the bicycle trail or through the neighborhood and find release, enjoyment, exhilaration and fitness.  But then it gets cold, I put the bicycle away, start eating more carbs and sweets and slowly feel the lethargy creeping into my bones - a formula for disaster. 

But not this year.  I bought myself enough gear to handle the cold.  Granted, I feel a bit like Randy in A Christmas Story, when his mom bundles him up for the snowy weather, but that’s okay, I’ll do whatever is necessary.  

I have ridden at least five days a week since the weather turned cold.  We had a spate of snow that slowed me down for a few days, but once the streets were plowed and the major ice patches melted, I was off again.  My family has started tossing around labels like: hard core, tough and snow queen.  I have to admit I like the edginess of those monikers and have added my own.  I feel like a warrior out battling the elements.  Yes, a warrior. There is an exhilaration and tough-mindedness that occurs after a 12 mile ride in freezing weather that can’t be achieved in any other way.  I’ll take whatever label you want to throw at me.

I rode today with a westerly wind smacking me in the face, and the temperature hovering around 30°.  It was seriously cold and I began muttering to myself, ‘you’re a masochist,’ and ‘you’re crazy you know?’  I smiled as I kept pedaling furiously and thought it just might be true, but hey, I’m out here doing this and there ain’t no stopping me. 

I like the person who can take on the elements, face the wind, endure cold fingers and toes and fearlessly do it again day after day.  It says something about who I am and I like what it says.  I have a feeling I’m going to make it through this winter just fine.  SAD can go find somebody else to drag down.  I’m not available. 


  1. Congratulations on both your year anniversary AND your intrepid bike riding in the middle of winter. Both visible signs of your incredible fortitude and love of a good challenge! Who knows where 2011 will take you. Love, M

  2. Thanks, Maureen. Who knows...we will see what happens. Thanks for being there. xoxo