First, it was about the speed.

Then the hills.

Then the snow, sleet, hail, rain, wind, and blazing sun. Then the cars and traffic. Then the mileage.

And then, finally, again, it was about the speed.

But then, inevitably, there were tumbles, slips, and falls. And only then did I realize that it wasn’t about the speed, the mileage, exactly how masochistic you were in riding through a Boston winter, or how well you can play in traffic.

Because when your face decides it suddenly wants to make out with the pavement, or when you’re stuck 5 miles from home with a flat and no spare tube, it’s really the people that make cycling worth it.

It’s the road warrior you mockingly bust past everyday on that stretch of road, or the hipster that you secretly hate because he has an amazing track stand, or the girl on the cruiser who can change a flat faster than you can on your own 21 speed. It’s the cyclists that stop to ask if everything’s okay when you suddenly end up in an embarrassing tangle of steel/cro-mo/carbon in the middle of the street that makes you get up, knees and elbows bleeding, and jump back onto your ride.

And that’s why I’m doing this project. That’s why I’m making bike hats – fully lined and finished by hand – and giving them away, entirely for free, at random places all across Boston. They’ll be left on bicycles, in cafes, bike shops, maybe even in messenger bags. Sure, I could probably sell these, but why not give them away to the people that make riding worth it?

So what’s in it for me? Mostly just a selfish desire to see and learn from the people who find these hats. Which is why I’m asking anyone who finds an s-class hat to email me with a picture of themselves wearing it, which will be posted up on this site. And if it doesn’t fit, pass it on to a friend.

As long as they ride, that is.