frozen slow

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!]


"I saw you on Comm Ave last night," a friend said.
"I thought about opening my door on you. You know, just to make it a little more challenging."
As if this weather wasn't challenging enough. I feel like a Yeti on a tricycle these days - sans the training wheels [unfortunately].
Yeah, I know, I know; I knew what I was getting into by deciding to be a year-round commuter in Boston, so I shouldn't be complaining. I really wouldn't be whining so much if there weren't so many goddamn obstacles!
It's not even the insane drivers who, through their sheer douchery, will teach you how to stubbornly take the lane and stay there while they honk at you incessantly. It's the potholes.

Like my sanity due to being deprived of warmer weather, the streets are cracking under the pressure of snow, cold, and everything else. And of course, no one's really doing anything about it.
Okay, so maybe I should do something about it. But at this point it's almost like a masochistic little game. I want to see how long it'll take until the whole street is just one big hole. And then I want to see how long it'll take the city to notice it.

And of course, while this is all happening, I want to see if I can learn - through sheer necessity - how to do wheelies and bunny hops so I can climb out of any holes I get into.
Come next 'cross season, I'll probably be owning the races too. So, thanks, Boston!


When I was younger, I [irrationally?] feared having a squat, ugly nose [I'm Asian, so the fears might not have been completely irrational]. I remember trying to relate this concern to my mother, who suggested I keep a clothespin on my nose to "train" it to become pointy.
She was joking, but I was five. I actually did it, although for about 5 minutes at a time. Because, hello, it hurts.
I mentioned this to my mother a few years ago who a) didn't even remember that this had happened, and b) concluded with "well, it worked, didn't it?"
I guess.
But those same irrational fears are coming up again. In the frigid cold Boston's been experiencing lately, my balaclava's coming in pretty handy. squishes my nose.

This is sort of unacceptable. What if my nose now regresses, and becomes more squat? I don't have clothespins here! Now that I'm older, do I have to keep the clothespin on for longer? Which clothespin should I be using?
This is all very frustrating and troublesome. It's good to know, though, that that nice, thick layer of fat that's grown on me since I've moved to Boston, and the fact that I'm ridiculously out of shape, are coming in handy for dealing with this weather. Both are keeping me warm enough to pull down that pesky balaclava a third of the way into my commute.
Thank God, really, because with this economy, my dowry really can't take any more hits.