Thursday, December 4, 2008

Riding In Snow

Today I had to visit my doctor's office, which is about 8 miles away. It's a cold day at less than 20ºF and breezy. The wind chill is 8ºF. Moving forward on my bike I'm pretty sure that it's closer to NONEºF. Still, I work up a sweat getting to visit the doc and my wool clothes have a decidedly ovine aroma. The receptionist plays it cool and pretends not to notice that I'm the One that is Not Like The Others. A gentleman named Gary looks me up and down and comments quietly to himself. I know he's Gary because he proclaims it to the receptionist upon arrival.

It's curious that the clinic has no facility for bike parking. You'd think that they would encourage deviants like me to exercise our troubles away. Hmm.

While I am inside, snow begins to fall in big, lazy flakes, swirling in the northwesterly breeze. I've invested in snow goggles for winter riding and I am glad I did. Pushing off into the squall, I can't help but delight in slicing through flakes of white. Most slide by my face, but a few briefly stick to the lens. It's feels uncannily like swimming. Because no skin is exposed no snow makes contact. I feel slightly removed from the weather swirling around me.

I am exhilarated to cut across wide expanses of fresh white snow, leaving behind only a thin, wandering trail. The hiss of studded tires on pavement is silenced in the deepest drifts, giving the impression of sudden tiny hops of flight. It's an airy, untethered and pleasant sensation.

How enjoyable it is to turn a routine errand into a journey of discovery.

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