05 December 2009

because it's snowing, i should be riding my bike.

Most things I do fall into two categories.  There are the things that I do that are a good idea, like eating a balanced diet, and things that I do because I can, like supplementing that diet with lager and whatever kind of bar food can be rustled up (lately: perogies from my beloved Oscar's and beer battered green beans from Prohibition).  The two categories aren't mutually exclusive (selling my car) and things can even migrate from one category to another (moving to Philly without a job).  

I tell you all this because today I rode my bike to the store in the snow. I did it just because I could. I am not quite sure if it was a good idea or not. 

I went back and forth on it all day- I was down to basically zero food, but the weather was crappy.  A girl has to eat, but I was making good progress on one of my papers. (approximately 6,000 words to go!).  Finally daylight was starting to dim, and it occurs to me that if it freezes there will be zero food tomorrow.  So I bundled up a little more than I do for just rain and headed out into the mess wearing all this:

On my feet- a pair of soccer socks, with a pair of wool socks over them, with a pair of rubber boots.
On my legs- (thermals tragically MIA) yoga pants, rain pants.
On my torso- shirt, North Face puffy coat (I like to sweat), rain jacket.
On my hands- water & wind resistant gloves
On my neck- a scarf that got very wet.
On my head- crocheted beanie and Nutcase helmet, sans pads.

So this was no small effort, but I'm thinking, riding in the snow? I've done this like a million times.  And I get outside, and it's kind of crappy.  And I get on my bike, and I'm like WHAT ARE THESE DAGGERS STABBING MY EYES?

Utah people, allow me to delude myself here, but the snow in Utah is as fluffy and dry as marshmallows, and getting hit in the eye by a flake is akin to, I don't know, an angel's wing brushing against your eyelashes.  When I saw the big flakes out my window, I was thinking of that. Not being stabbed in the eyeball.  I think it might've been sleeting, but that was really unpleasant.  It was also unpleasant that the only people doing dangerous shit on the road were from New Jersey.  If there's any prejudice I've learned to cultivate while living in Philadelphia, it's that people from New Jersey are the worst (try going to a decent bar on a Friday or Saturday... ugh). This did not help their case.

I interrupt this blog post for a Church of the Granny Bike Public Service Announcement:
If it's snowing, stay the hell out of my city, New Jerseyians!

Those people crossed the line.

proof that I went (after 11,000 pictures my camera struggles a little in bad weather)

Anyways, the grocery getting part wasn't so bad, because I inadvertently stumbled upon The Secret to managing Trader Joe's on a Saturday.  It's called "Forget To Turn Your Blinkee Light Off." No wonder people gave me so much space!  I am going to do that every time I go from now on.

I made it home intact, basically dry, but not really filled with the joy that I usually feel after grocery getting by bike.  A balaclava and some goggles probably would've made it better, but the visibility was a bitch.  While fortunately I'm off of grocery duty here for the next couple of weeks, I may have to get on board with public transportation for my shopping when it gets to be high winter.

really... poor strange little camera!

The up side to all of this is now that I have plenty of food to get me through whatever further inclement weather comes, and that food stash includes Candy Cane Joe Joes, one of the best foods of all time! In fact, now that I'm having a cookie, I think I will never question the value of riding in the snow again.


dukiebiddle said...

You need one of those bicycle cap thingys with a visor. They fit under the helmet and shield the eyes, protecting them from east coast stabby snow. I rawked/dorked the rain pants and grocery stored too today. Loved it. Sucked that there was no accumulation. Don't worry about too much snow in Philly. Unless it is a freak year, you'll only see 2 or 3 snows.

Oh, and I'll have you know some of my ancestors were from Camden, so watch it. ;-)

Blaine said...

public transit is for suckers...especially in philly. i just got a balaclava, and it is wicked sweet. you can do it!