Good people. Fall has come to North America. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the fog is celebrating its temporary victory over the pesky sun by wrapping hapless cyclists in a cloak of invisibility, vis-a-vis Harry Potter. Elsewhere, snow is falling.
All over the country (okay, if you’re in Hawaii you probably couldn’t give a hoot, since tsunami season weighs bit more heavily on the mind), fall means a lot of cyclists are taking the sissy’s way out and getting ready to pack up and go home. To settle back into the daily comfort of the climate controlled technological womb of the petroleum-powered automobile.
I’m not here to point fingers, but no matter how well you outsprint my asthmatic lungs and pitifully inadequate fast-twitch muscles during warm summer days, I won’t consider you hard until you’ve got some fenders on your ride and a breathable technical fabric (or wool, if you’re one of those earthy Rivendell folks) out of summer storage and on your person. Because guess who’s going to be sneering at you on a cold and rainy day when I see your Volvo rolling down the road, an empty bike rack on the roof the only indication that you are one of us.
Yes, I’m calling you out, sir or madam. This is your year. This is the year you’re going to ride through the winter. Because after the pain, the frozen hands, the snow blindness, the occasional case of hypothermia and the lost appendages, comes the fierce pride and holy and unadulterated righteousness.
Oh yes, you proud few. You’re riding this one through. And we’re riding with you.