I’ve lost count of how many times co-workers have offered me rides home on rainy and snowy days over the years. It doesn’t happen much any more, because I’ve been working in one place for a long time and most everyone knows I’ll decline the offer. Even my wife has stopped calling and offering to come pick me up unless she knows I’m facing a headwind strong enough to stop my forward momentum.
People who drive to work every day have a hard time understanding why the rest of us voluntarily subject ourselves to wind, heat, rain, cold and snow instead of climbing into climate-controlled steel bubbles for the trip home. I blame this on the tendency that people have to describe weather as “bad.”
Just this morning, the local newspaper’s website contained a headline about “bad weather” putting cars into tailspins during yesterday’s rush hour.
Unless it’s severe enough to wreck your house or kill people, there is no “bad” weather. There’s just weather. Some is more comfortable, and some is less comfortable. It’s what you make of it.
A woman who sometimes chats with me briefly by the back door as she walks to her car happened to see me gearing up to ride in several inches of new snow last night. She laughed and yelled, “You’re a madman!”
No, I’m not.
I’m not even all that tough, or brave, or any of the other things that some people call bike commuters (to our faces) when they’re impressed by what we endure. I’m just a bike geek who likes getting exercise and having fun.
When I plow through the snow in a busy intersection, surrounded by drivers in their idling cars, I know I’m the sane one. Because a minute later, I'll drop away from the street and roll down into a dark, quiet bike path through the woods.
Riding in the snow might look cold and miserable when seen through a windshield, but I’m one of the few people having fun while commuting at rush hour.