DXMachina (dxmachina) wrote,

You Are There...

It's cold (low 40's) and windy out, but that's why you bought all that cold weather clothing. You have no excuse for not riding, so you layer up and head for the path. Halfway there you remember that the bike computer is still sitting on your desk, so you turn around and go get it. When you finally make it to Kingston station you find that every single space in the main parking lot is full. There's even a couple of pillocks parked in a marked fire lane, probably figuring that they're kidding about the towing thing. The fact that the cars are still there in the middle of the afternoon suggests that they've figured correctly. But wait, you see a couple of folks with a dog climbing into their minivan to leave. After some lengthy settling in, they finally do leave, and you're able to park the truck in the narrow space next to a Caddy whose owner seems to think that the lines on the pavement are to be used more guidelines than rules.

You haul the bike out of the back of the truck and finish putting on the last couple of cold weather accoutrements. You're wearing a thin, long-sleeved wick shirt that you picked up this morning in exchange for the one you bought last weekend that turned out to be way too big. This is the first XL-sized shirt that you've been able to comfortably wear in decades, and it's still a little loose. Most of it is that they seem to be cut really big, but then again, on top of it you're wearing the Live Journal XXL t-shirt that you got at the Wolfram & Hart Annual Review three years ago that hasn't fit since you washed it upon returning home from LA. On top of that you've got a long-sleeved thermal shirt, and finally a windproof pullover zipped up all the way to just under your chin. Windproof fleece-lined track pants, thermal socks, and leather cross-trainers complete the ensemble. You've accessorized with sunglasses, full-fingered bicycle gloves, a b.org baseball cap, and this weird pair of earmuffs which slip on from behind your head, not from above. They're an awfully tight fit, probably because of your fat head, but seem warm enough.

With all the layers, you were overly warm in the truck, but once on the bike you realize exactly how cold it is, or at least your face does. You make a mental note to find one of the zillion chap sticks you have lying around the house and put it in the truck for tomorrow. All the gear does do its job for the most part. Your fingers are a little cold because although the gloves have fingers, they aren't particularly windproof. Still, it's be a lot worse if you were wearing your usual gloves.

The wind is at you back on the outward leg, and you're able to keep up a brisk pace. It seems like the cold has convinced most of the casual users of the path, and even some of the not-so-casual users, to stay indoors today. Or maybe it's because DEM has posted signs every so often reminding all that it's deer season. You make another mental note, this time about seeing if you can't find some sort of bright orange vest to wear over all this blue and black cold weather gear you have on. The path is almost empty. There is one family, two small girls on tiny bikes, their mother following along on an ancient three-speed, while dad kicks alongside the group on his skateboard. They're all wearing very bright colors.

There is a lot less debris and leaves on the path than there was last weekend after Noel went through, and the ride is less bumpy. You reach Rodman Street and turn around to go back up the hill and into the wind. It turns out not to be as bad as expected. Your face even feels a little warmer. It could be because you're now facing the sun. Or perhaps it's just that the nerve endings have finally gone numb. You try to adjust the earmuffs, because although they are doing a good job keeping your ears warm, your ears are starting to hurt because they're squashed so hard against the sides of your noggin. The adjustment helps a little, but you make yet another mental note to see if you can figure out how to lessen the tension in the headband somehow.

You get back to the station, turn around, and head out again for a second lap. You start to notice that your toes are really getting cold, and are starting to hurt a little bit. What's up with that? At least it gives you something different to think about on the second lap instead of the usual dwelling on lost love, dying alone, or aggravating work situations. What can be done to keep the tootsies warm next time out? Do you have any warmer shoes that would be comfortable to ride in? Maybe a pair of electrically heated socks wired to a little generator mounted on the wheel? Upon further consideration, a second pair of socks would be probably be easiest.

The sun is dropping behind the trees when you get back to the station after the second lap. It gets dark too early. You get off the bike and take off the earmuffs first thing. The bike goes back on the truck, and you head for home as the sky darkens, thinking about maybe getting yourself a ski mask.

(Can you tell that I just finished a novel written entirely in the second person?)
Tags: biking

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