It was colder than a witch’s Tevas when I left my apartment this morning and made my way across town to campus. It was snowing, visibility was limited, and the roads were slick. Prior to leaving, my wife made repeated offers to give me a lift. I wanted to take her up on it, and thought long and hard about doing so. But because of the craziness that already characterizes our end of the day routine (and a need to swing by the bike shop on the way home if at all possible), I opted to ride in.
If the wind continues to pick up and the temperature drops further, I’ll have no choice but to hitch a ride home, and that’s perfectly fine. In the meantime, however, I wanted to mention a couple of realizations that came to mind as I pedaled. The first had to do with how beautiful the bike path looks in the early morning under fresh fallen snow. I love the sound of my tires crushing the little ice crystals, amplified by the quiet hush that comes with snowfall. I love the loud cracking sounds that the wooden bridges make in when I cross them in the cold. I love the look of lines left by my wheels against the backdrop of as yet undisturbed whiteness. Second, for as cold as it was — and it was crazy cold — riding makes me feel so strong and warm. I love being in my environment. I love the silent exchanges I have with those drivers kind enough to wait for me to pass a driveway. I love the enthusiastic wave I get from whomever is at the counter of my local bike shop when I pedal by on my way home in the afternoon. And so I pedal on, I count the days to spring, and I look forward to how much greener, and warmer, and more beautiful everything will seem once it arrives by virtue of the contrast.
Speaking of thinking warm thoughts, check out Cycle and Style. (I’ll leave it to the reader to make the connection.) Tara, the executive editor of the site, contacted me to see if I’d be interested in checking it out, noting that one of the reasons I list for why I ride are my two daughters. According to Tara, the site (which is just over three months old and already looks infinitely superior to mine and is certainly more active) is “written by and about women who love cycling.” It’s dedicated to presenting and supporting cycling as a female-friendly thing, and to encourage girls of all ages to get on their bicycles. Hear hear.
The site is full of sexy photos, stylish gear, chic accessories, tasty suggestions, clever tips, helpful information, and lots of practical advice and sincere encouragement for ordinary folks who want to ride a bicycle and look good doing it. In fact, the spirit their website does a wonderful job of conveying is this: everyone looks better on a bike, simply by virtue of being on it. Bicycles epitomize elegance.
Nice work, ladies. Ride on.
Cycle and Style, by the way, is just one of many fantastic websites focused primarily on women who ride bikes. Some other excellent ones can be found in my blog roll, all of which provide additional links to many, many more.