Somebody, somewhere decided that today is International Winter Bike to Work Day. This is the day when all the bike commuters in South America laugh at us up north. In keeping with the spirit of the day, Jack Frost returned with a vengeance. It was 13 degrees when I left home this morning. To make the ride to work more fun, there was a 10-15 mile per hour headwind.
I wore everything I could which makes for difficult pedaling. The sunrise was stunning today but you’ll have to take my word for it because there was nothing that was going to get me to stop my bike lest I freeze in place.
At Gravelly Point the treeless field let me experience the headwind in all its winter glory. I was struggling to maintain 8 miles per hour. This 1/2 mile stretch seemed like it would take forever. Since today is Friday, I rode into DC for Friday Coffee Club. The ride across the 14th Street Bridge was actually painful. The wind was cutting through my balaclava and causing the left side of my face to sting.
I briefly considered riding north on 15th Street to be officially counted by the people from Bicycle Space who somehow became the official counters of this event. Instead I banged a left on Pennsylvania Avenue and headed straight to Swings House of Caffeine. To my surprise there were already about 10 people there. In short order, we were up to our usual 20 or so
One of the folks at my table had some interesting artwork in his cup. Check it out.
The rode from Swings to Rosslyn was pretty nasty too. I crossed back over the river but only had to stop twice for inbound bike commuters.
During the day I had an asthma attack. The worst one I have had in years. A couple of puffs from my albuterol inhaler took care of it but now I know that cold air is a trigger. Whew!
The pedaling home was much easier for a several reasons. First, I wore only three layers on my legs instead of four on the ride in. Second, the headwind was gone. And it was about ten degrees warmer. Warmth is relative.
As difficult as today was, we are fortunate that the coldest weather will not arrive until Sunday. I am thankful that I don’t have to commute in that.
Let’s end on a warm thought. In one week, pitchers and catchers report for spring training. Batter up!