There are usually two choices when you're stuck out in the frigid cold on a bicycle in too little gear: 1. go as fast as you can while hoping that the resulting body heat you create will somehow overcome the wind that you've also created, or 2. reduce your speed under the theory that less wind means less cold.
I've tried both, and neither work. The results seem to be about the same: blood refuses to circulate to my feet, fingers, or face. To add to the general discomfort, snot will start pouring out my nose; and to add to my general embarrassment, I can't feel most of it dribbling down until almost too late. At that point, there's nowhere to look but up. At least you're on two wheels and you'll get home. At least you're not walking.
But yesterday, I was walking. And it was about 1F.
All the pretty snow earlier in the day turned to the kind of weather that has your ears stinging and your face hurting as soon as you get outside. That balmy weather that made rides outside slightly tolerable? That was the equivalent of God releasing a teaser for a movie that won't come out for another 5 months. Thanks for letting us know what we're missing, big G.
So even though I wouldn't have ridden outside this weekend anyway - given my wind allergy, I think it's safe to say that I tend to prefer riding indoors - I still felt indignant about the weather. Temperatures were low enough that I was looking at a weekend of sitting around my apartment, simultaneously feeling lazy and stressed. The kind of weekend where, unless my pantry and fridge were completely bare, and there was nothing left to eat except wood and toilet paper, I wasn't stepping foot outside.
But then friends down south in the Big Apple decided to put together a party to watch the Cyclocross World Championships taking place in Tabor, Czech Republic, and it would be early enough on Sunday to allow my attendance and still ship back to Boston at a decent hour. I did what any reasonable person would do: I packed a bag, left my helmet at home, and hopped on a bus.
Which resulted in me half jogging down Chrystie Street in inhumane temperatures when I finally got to NYC. To be honest, when I felt the cold air slap my face, I didn't really want to get off the bus. I thought about the rollers in my apartment, felt the guilt of abandoning my bikes there for the weekend. But when friends are involved, there's no shame in slowing down a bit.
And besides, it's way colder up in Boston.
[If you're in the NYC area, come out to the World's party at NYC Velo this Sunday. It'll be fun, I promise!]