Sunday, December 19, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside!

Is it normal to be cycling in weather that's cold enough to freeze your water bottle?  Probably not.  Last year, I stopped riding in the winter once the temperature dropped below 40 degrees.  This year, I seem to have misplaced my higher brain functions and have continued to ride even as the temperature continues to drop in the NYC area.  The screenshot above has a column highlighted that shows the minimum temperature during a few of my recent rides.  Let me just state for the record that 26.6 degrees (-3C) is quite cold.

One of my friends remarked to me that this behavior isn't normal.  In fact, I was told that I may single-handedly prove that Darwinian evolution sometimes fails.  His contention was that behavior such as mine should have already been deleted from the gene pool.  I'd like to disagree with him.  But then again, I don't have any children so Darwin may yet still win.

The reality of all this is that I prefer to ride outside.  I would rather be riding in sub-zero temperatures outside than on a stationary bike or trainer indoors.  Yes, it's painful.  Yes, my skin will probably slough off in its entirety at some point before the end of 2010.  And yes, I have accepted that this is aberrant behavior.  But I still enjoy the sensation of being on the road.  I love the fresh air, the quiet click and hum of the bike's drivetrain, and the whirring of the wheels as they spin along the road.

I fully understand why people train indoors but at least for me, I feel like a gerbil on one of those wheels whenever I run or cycle in a gym.

It seems that the New York Times has decided to write about cycling a little bit this weekend.  They've got an editorial on cycling, which I largely agree with.  ("Salmoning" irritates me to no end.)  They also have an amusing piece on Cat 6 racing, which I see a lot more of nowadays after the dedicated bike lanes on 1st and 2nd Avenues were installed.  Read and enjoy with a cup of hot chocolate.

I'm headed out for another ride in the cold....

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