There are many people that look forward to the time of the year when they get to break out their fluffy coats, put on their wool hats, and get all bundled up for winter. If this describes you, then by all means, rock on. But I am not one of them. When the temperature is below 60 I start to get uncomfortable and anything below 40 is just damn unnatural for my skinny little body. Its not to say that I don't like a good snowball fight or getting to warm up next to a camp fire, but those are things I can do on vacation. When it comes to day to day life, I prefer the warm ocean breeze. So all of that being said, one of my biggest fears of being car-free was winter.
Since Charleston generally has a mild winter, I had really been able to put off dealing with this fear... until now. Last week it got down to 17 degrees. I mean seriously? Is that necessary? 17 in Charleston? I am the first to admit that you will not catch me out in those temperatures biking for good times- but I do have to leave the house at some point. So, I figured it was time for me to just get it over with, break out all of my new winter gear, and brave the cold. The Holy City Bike Co-op winter fundraiser seemed like an appropriate night to get my face numbing party started since they were doing a mystery night ride. So with my long underwear, tall socks, turtle fur (neck warmer), reflective biking jacket, ear warmers, and gloves on (see picture above) - I took to the streets a long with a handful of other brave individuals and faced the 20-something degree weather. The ride was cold but fun and it was a nice warm-up for my trek home.
As I was making my way back to West Ashley I thought about how I was actually feeling pretty toasty. The worst part about being out on my bike in the cold night air was my ridiculous runny nose...which I couldn't do anything about. I've never mastered the art of the snot rocket and I try to avoid being a sleeve wiper, so I just suffered the journey having to be a mouth breather with the sniffles. I made it home safe with all of my fingers and toes intact and hurried into my house so my face could thaw. In the end, it wasn't even half as bad as I thought, but I will admit that since then I have taken the bus twice to avoid the cold winter air and I still can't wait for summer.