I was up in Poughkeepsie this weekend and had a few minutes to check my bike. This is the worst of winter. I can’t ride, I can’t work on the bike, the magazine articles are nothing but,“Oh, here’s something new you can’t afford from Bologna (or Munich, or…),” and it will be months before I can get out on the road. So I think about riding.
It’s too cold- even if bundle myself up (good excuse to buy that Gerbing electric vest) it’s too icy. Some of the NeDOD folks ride late into winter but most of them have stopped until the morning temps break thirty again. I could tinker but thankfully I don’t have any real work to do on the bike but even if I did, it’s 70 miles from here. I’m thinking of adding a pair of panniers come spring but will probably hand that off to my mechanic. Hard cases aren’t made for my model and that means drilling the frame and fabricating supports to adapt ones that are close to fitting. That’s more than I can do on a Saturday in my in-laws’ garage.
What I can do is roll change. I’ve literally been saving pennies to buy the aerostich jacket to match the pants Maria bought for me last year. I have a good leather jacket (thanks Dad!) from Heine Gericke but it’s heavy and is hot even with all the vents open. How warm is that leather jacket? During the threat of the transit strike here in NYC I kept the bike around and when the strike was averted rode up along the Hudson to put it in storage. Before leaving Manhattan I had to remove the mylar liner. By the time I got to the Bronx I had to pull off and open the vents. It wasn’t until dusk near Garrison that I had to close the vents. Only my hands were cold despite temperatures of thirty-one degrees. It doesn’t take much to imagine how it is riding in New York’s hot, humid summers. With the ‘stich I shouldn’t have to sacrifice any protection but should gain a good measure of comfort. Just trading light gray for black should make a difference.
So over the next few weeks I’m going to roll change. And think about riding.