The Joys of Winter Cycling: Cold Noses, Pretty Landscapes and Fewer Fellow Bikers
The thing I love about The Guardian's cycling blog is that it manages to masterfully tread (pedal?) that fine line between the practical and the philosophical. From discussing how to keep your feet warm biking in winter to talking about what you should do if you see a bike thief, there is plenty of useful information for everyday cycling know-how. But you also get a sense of how cycling shapes a person's worldview too. Most recently, we get a great reflection on the many joys of winter cycling—including cold noses, apparently. As I admitted in my aforementioned post on keeping your feet warm biking in winter, I was always a fair weather cyclist. But I must admit that Peter Walker's post on the many joys of cycling in winter had even me considering a jaunt in the winter snow. The man even manages to make freezing cold wind on your face sound like an appealing reconnection with the world around us:
"In only a week I'd forgotten how cycling presses your nose (literally and metaphorically) so keenly against the outside world. The rush of air against your face and limbs makes the weather so much more real, tangible. Even as a pedestrian the cold, rain and snow can be sheltered from, huddled against. On a bus or a train they might as well be imaginary. When cycling, they're inescapable and - if possible - to be embraced. Suck in that crisp air. Blink the snowflakes from your eyes.
This is all the more important if, like me, you live in a big city, where it's all too easy to get cut off from the elements. Cycling is a way of experiencing the changing seasons, marking the transitions of each year as layers of clothing are gained and shed."
Walker goes on to present 5 specific pleasures that make winter cycling worthwhile—including the joys of toasty warm cafes, and a chance to enjoy fewer bike commuters on the road. (Head over to Walker's original post for the full list of winter cycling joys, and you can even share some of your own.)
I'd like to say it has inspired me to get on my bike tomorrow, but unfortunately I have an eight hour snowy, icy highway car-ride ahead of me. Not sure I'd attempt that on the bike. Even the pleasure of a cold nose gets old after a while...