- Zero worries about whether the car will start in the cold and no windshield scraping–my motor doesn’t freeze up and I don’t have windows.
- Permission to eat my sweetheart’s delicious hand-grated hashbrowns for breakfast because I’ll be burning potatoes on the way to work.
- The sound of my skinny tires hissing through a light frosting of snow on the ground.
- My own breath warming my face behind the face mask I wear to block the wind.
- The smell of woodsmoke in my neighborhood and whatever’s cooking at restaurants I pass in downtown, along with the smell of coffee roasting at one particular location some mornings.
- The feeling of fellowship with whoever rode in the bike lane before me and left a track.
- The childlike feeling of glee at being the first to ride in the bike lane and leave a track in the untouched snow.
- The chance to smile and make eye contact with a cold-looking pedestrian waiting for the light to change at a corner as we share a closer contact with nature’s realities than the people inside vehicles.
- The delicate tracery of frost on the black bike rack at work.
- Rosy cheeks that require no Maybelline or L’Oreal whatsoever.
- The sound of geese honking overhead (shouldn’t they be somewhere farther south this time of year?!) and unidentified little birds in the bushes.
- The realization that cold weather just isn’t as—well—cold as people seem to think it is if you get out and move around a little.
- The realization that fingertips that were cold when I began the ride are now warm thanks to the blood pumping through my veins because I worked on that uphill stretch.
- The silence on a traffic-free side street.
- A sincere appreciation for my warm house and a hearty bowl of soup at the end of the ride home.
- An awareness of the difference between the soft black of a summer night and the crisp black of a winter night.
- The joy of riding my bike.
With appreciation for the friends on Facebook who shared their own special winter riding experiences, a couple of which reminded me of items for my list.
- What do you like about winter riding?