No riding yesterday or the day before on account of the threatened weather and work commitment to wear a suit. What I learned by not riding is that I bring my work home with me, which is sometimes a bad thing. The 40 minute ride home allows me to clear my head and switch into husband & father mode.
I resumed the Errandonnee Challenge this morning with my standard commute to work. I learned that there is a fine line separating comfort and overheating in my clothing choices; in particular, my choice of head wear. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been wearing a polypro ski cap under my helmet in an effort to keep my ears and forehead warm in 20 degree morning temps. I’m usually a little warm and sweaty after the 40 minute ride. This morning, the temps were in the low 30’s and I switched to a lightweight Pearl Izumi skull cap. The first few minutes were rough on the ears, but after I warmed up I was comfy and arrived at work without a beet-red face and head. Thirty degrees seems to be the cut-off for me. Below 30 I need the ski cap; above 30, the cap makes me overheat.
Here I am reflected in the side of my office building. Total commute was 20.1 miles round trip.
Having completed the mileage component of the Errandonnee by returning home, I unpacked and set out to do an actual errand. So I pedaled 1.34 miles round trip (yes, a staggering distance!) to Starbucks for coffee.
I’ve lived in my communtiy for over 20 years and have rarely been asked about my bike. Maybe I don’t take it on enough errands. This evening I was asked twice about the bike and cycling. The barrista was the first, asking me how I was enjoying the roads after the storms. They suck, to be honest. We have potholes that can swallow a pony, but I answered more politely and snapped the picture through the shop window.
As I stepped outside to mount up, a man and approached me stating, “I can tell you’re into cycling by your outfit” and then proceeded to ask for a recommendation for a 20 mile route. I’m not sure what clued him into my love of two-wheels: was it all the lycra or the neon yellow vest and helmet? Perhaps it was the way I put my coffee cup in the water bottle holder. The Errondonne is obviously changing my life and attracting others to ask me about cycling.
Oh, I need to have observed something during the errand. I observed that riding to the coffee shop, at least during rush hour, is more dangerous than walking. But I would have missed the opportunity to talk cycling had I walked, so I guess it was worth the risk.
Tomorrow, if the weather permits, a ride for some Brooklyn barbecue.