Friday, November 19, 2010

Suiting Up for the Cold

Getting set to ride on a cold day take a couple of things. Not just a closet of warm clothing.
Thirty eight years ago I would put my bicycle away for the winter months. Having no car to get around, it meant traveling by thumb to go anywhere. I made a folding cardboard sign that had all the destinations that I would ever need to travel to, lettered with reflector tape for early Winter sunsets and dark streets. I would have people pick me up just because they loved the sign idea, It worked well! It was a differnt time of life here in New England and drivers would stop just to have a chat and company with their drive to work or home.
Walking was big with me and a good pair of winter boots were as important as my now winter bike. Fabiano made a beautiful pair of blue suede boots called Fabiano Blues. They sold at EMS for about $25.00 and lasted for the season.
It wasn't until I was confronted by an older fellow by the name of Ted Faller at Windslows Greenhouses in Needham,the place I worked with the question of, Where is your bike. It was followed with the question of "What the hell is wrong with you? That's why they make warm clothing!"
That man changed my life and ever since I have ridden through the Winter.
It didn't take long to figure out that it is a real good Idea to not take your good bike out on salty streets. I'm not one for cleaning my bike and being a dump picker at heart found the perfect bike for the job. The nice thing about shopping for a bike at the dump is that if it doesn't work out, at anytime you can return it!
The bicycle of choice was the Raleigh Sports 3 Speed. They became our 'Mobile Units" and what we used for camping and riding into the woods around Southern New England. On any weekend one could find a good 3 speed being thrown away because of the new 10 speed fad. Lighter faster bikes were popular and the old black Raleigh were being left at the dump.
Riding in the cold is a mind set. A Life Style of sorts and a great way to go. You always get a good parking spot and with the right clothing, a rider can be comfortable on a cold winter day. Of course we have days when its just best to stay inside, but for the most part winter riding can be enjoyable as long as you are well suited for the job.

1 comment:

  1. The thing about the cold is that you can never tell how cold it is from looking out a kitchen window. You have to dress up, get out training and when you come back, you then know how cold it is. -Sean Kelly


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