Christmas Light Hunting

“Are you going for a bike ride?!” my college-age daughter asked when she saw me dressed for cycling a few minutes after sunset.  When I told her I was about to head out despite the fact it was night, quite cold, and the roads were ice-covered, she sought out the rational parent in the house.  “Mom!!!  Dad’s going out for a ride.  Stop him!”

“Best of luck,” replied my wife.  “You’re absolutely crazy, but you already know that.  Be sure to kiss the kids goodbye and I hope you make it to Heaven after you have your accident.”

So it was with those encouraging words that I set off on a jaunt to inspect the Christmas lighting in my neighborhood.  It was my first-ever subfreezing ride.  The roads were covered with black ice and good old-fashioned white ice.  The neighborhood has very few street lamps, so visibility would be a little tricky.  Given the likelihood of mishap, I opted to take Old Ironsides on this trip.  The fatter tires and flat pedals were very welcome and improved my chances of avoiding an accident.

As it turned out, I didn’t have any serious issues.  I was very conservative and regularly stopped on the side of the road when cars approached.  Even that was a little dicey as it was on the edge where most of the ice was.  Despite it being the coldest of my rides, I was actually a little warmer than normal because I was riding much slower and taking frequent breaks for picture-taking.  Slower speeds meant less wind chill, and that was a good thing!

At one point, I was taking a picture of a house when the owner pulled up (this is happening with increasing frequency and it makes me wonder if my timing could be any worse).  He was bemused to see a bicyclist out in this weather and said, “Kinda chilly to be riding a bike, isn’t it?”  I smiled and said, “Not if you’re wearing the right clothes!”

It was a nice night and I saw several great houses.  However, I did feel exposed riding by myself.  I think a group ride would be a smarter option.  And roads with no ice would definitely be preferrable!

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3 thoughts on “Christmas Light Hunting

  1. Pingback: Christmas Light Hunt | There And Back Again

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