10 degrees colder on wheels

A friend a bike mentor of sorts of mine recently told me, with the onset of fall, that it’s always 10 degrees colder on a bike with the wind. I half expected that realization to mark the beginning of the end to my little biking experiment. I had bought the bike, a trusty Trek 7100, about 6 months ago for 50 bucks off Craigslist and as the summer blossomed and as soon as I realized that my daily trek between East Harlem and Washington Heights could be faster (and more invigorating) on bike than on public transit, I was hooked. By the end of summer, I was riding almost daily. Me, and my dorky green helmet that I got free along with the cheap bike, and whose dorkiness has yet to sway me to put out any actual money for a more chic-looking helmet. Really, what helmet is not dorky? And I like green. So dorky it is. I embrace my new identity as that light-skinned girl with the green helmet, zooming along and smiling to herself.

So this morning when I awoke to 35 degrees, I knew I would appreciate the extra warmth of my helmet as I fought the wind gusts along St. Nick’s Avenue (although the breathe holes let in these awkward quarter-sized drafts…). And I got extra bundled up with ear muffs and gloves. Hey, once resigned to be a dork, it is refreshingly easy to take on extra dorkiness in the name of comfort. (And the shackles of pressure to look cute fell from my eyes…)

Only my face felt the full force of ten-degree colder weather. I arrived, Rudolph red nosed, but otherwise, muscles flexed and ambitious, eyes twinkling and squealing hell yeah it’s freakin’ cold and I’m the only woman let alone brown one biking out on these streets. And winter, you can just bring all you got ’cause this is one green dork who doesn’t want to go back.

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