Old Man Winter

I’m lucky to live in an area where winter is more wet than cold.  Sure, it does get cold, but not COLD.  I don’t even think we’ve hit the 20’s yet here in PDX.  It’s a far cry from nursing school in Flagstaff where it was common for the thermometer to read single digits, before wind chill, on those morning drives in the beat-up ’73 Bug.  So I shouldn’t complain.  Much.

The thing is though, it’s one thing for it to be cold, wet and windy when you’re driving.  It’s a while other ball game when you’re on a bicycle. But I’ve learned to cope.

First, I learned about fenders.  With them I cold ride in shorts and stay fairly dry, before the temperature dropped.

Second, I learned about raingear.  As the temperature kept going down and the rain started getting heavier I found myself encased in a swath of mostly-breathable gore-tex like fabric.

Third and finally, I re-learned about layering.  It started with old long underwear and has gradually moved to Under Armour.  I bought a pair of Cold Gear tights which are the best $37 I have spent in a long time.

The other day I was encased in it all.  Tights, shorts, warm-up jacket, rain coat, rain pants, beanie, scarf thing and gloves.  Rain was coming down like the second-coming, y’know like that “upside-down rain” in Forrest Gump?  Wind was blowing and the mercury was hovering around 35 degrees F.

When I got to work the most common comment I heard was, “You rode in this weather?”  They got the affirmative.  Then one said, “Man, you are hard-core.”

That made it all worth it.


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