I had almost forgotten what it was like to ride in great conditions. Rode the EFT home and there was a decent amount of traffic, which was excellent to see.
One thing I always miss about winter is the sense of community amongst cyclists. When it’s 20 degrees and I see someone on the trail or road, we nearly always give a wave to each other. There is still a semblance of this when the weather is warm, but when it’s cold and/or rainy, there is a definite mutual respect amongst the riders. You completely understand someone’s frame of mind, and it’s quite powerful. That little wave or tip of the helmet means alot to me. I hope that as the numbers grow, we maintain that sense of community and respect.
That being said, looking at the weather report, it seems that we are returning to what I usually expect from February in Pittsburgh. Look forward to seeing you all out there, freezing our noses off.
Read this to my kids last night, seemed appropriate:
But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.
I saw a husky sized forty something on a brand new store-bought (Trek) fixie yesterday on the South Side trail. I applaud his willingness to want to get out there, but whoever sold him that bike should have asked him if he had ridden at all since he was in his teens. Poor guy was really struggling.
I have respect for the guy for getting out there, and mad respect if he sticks with it. It’s much harder getting out there and fighting the feeling that the gears are on top of you and your body isn’t up to the task than it is fighting weather.
I do like the sense of community among cyclists in Pittsburgh, especially in the winter, but I hope that someday we reach a point where so many people travel by bike that it’s a completely normal thing, even in bad weather.
At that point, simply seeing another person on a bike won’t be such an instant connection the way it is now– it will be more like seeing another person who goes to the same large university as you. I kind of get a sense of this every spring when it’s a little less novel to see people on bikes, compared to both the winter that year and the spring the year before, which to quote Stu is definitely a Good Thing even if it makes seeing other cyclists a little more banal.