A winter bike riding manifesto

It’s gotten cold in Kansas City. There’s frost on the grass in the mornings and threats of snow. Sometimes I wear a hat and two pairs of socks even when I’m inside.

But I still ride my bike to work. I wear two pairs of socks (one wool), two pairs of gloves, a hat, and two or three layers of clothing. The first 2-3 miles aren’t too bad. A few good uphills get my blood pumping. But by the third mile things get a little uncomfortable. The feeling starts to go in my toes and fingers (my extremities tend to always be cold, so it can get bad in below-freezing weather). Plus the last few blocks before I get to work are all downhill. It gets chilly.

But it is one of the best parts of my day. I like that when I let out my breath I can see it in the air before the wind takes it away. I like that the sharp cold makes my eyes water. I like to see what my body can get used to. And what its limits are.

After my ride it feels so so good to be inside again. The feeling starts to come back to my hands and feet. My face gets flushed from the warmth. Chai tea never tasted so good. I hold the mug with both of my hands until they start to burn.

morning bike ride selfie
Just got to work. (Yes this is a selfie that I took with a timer. Go ahead and judge.)

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