Winter Riding

Granville, MA

Winter Riding: Love It Or Hate It?  Here is winter riding, this is what it is like for me:  quiet, minimalist, full of stark lines, and rewarding.  This is what I watch: the line of bicycles in front of me, the bareness of trees, the trails of brooks I’d never see in the summer, the clear outlines of hills.  There is a bareness to the riding and the conservation that happens given the hope and aim of somehow keeping in heat by keeping a little more quieter than usual.  For me, because I am new to riding, the crew I ride with asks about my hands, my feet, how am I doing?  Like them, I’m cold for a long time.  It is only 28 degrees.  I don’t have adequate gloves and I feel my fingers tingling.  With each question, I know that this rider beside me is thinking the same, the one behind me, when he asks, I know he is probably cold, too.  Yes, winter riding is cold until you start climbing hills, this ride is a slight incline and an hour in, it is warm.  I forget that my fingers are cold.  The chatter gets more generous, the sun upticks the temperature by one degree.  But with riding, I find that you are basically only one degree away from having an incredible time and being utterly miserable.  One minor mechanical problem, the wrong base layer, a pinch in your helmet–any of these could make the ride something more or less to endure rather than something to look back on with affable pleasure and a sweet reminiscence.  Of course, life is the same.  Emily Gresh

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