I don’t know if this was the official first day of fall but I’m going to declare it anyway. How do I know? Because on a bicycle you are exposed, to almost everything. Rabid dogs, coal-rolling rednecks, and the weather. Just as it should be. I enjoy this exposure, it’s part of what makes cycling so enjoyable.
Today felt different. I’m now in New Mexico full time and have been here since June, my longest stretch in this land in years. I’ve been able to witness the slow and beautiful turn from summer to fall. Today there were leaves on the ground. Today I needed a thermal layer. Today I felt the burn in my lungs. Today my sweat turned cold. Today I blew on my fingertips. Today I was intensely happy.
The turn of the seasons is new to me once again after twenty-three mind-numbing and sensation numbing years in Southern California where turning seasons get lost in the noise, smog, and concrete. But here, it’s undeniable and I have to say, such a pleasure to witness. I can’t express how happy this makes me feel. Now, come to mid-winter I’m going to complain about how cold it is. This is called foreshadowing. (I’m a winter wimp.)
For the first time in my life, I have to purchase winter cycling kit. I don’t even know where to begin but all I know for sure is that I don’t have what I need and I’m certainly not going to stop riding. I will be taking road trips to ride in the southern part of the state. The time on this route might seem long, which it is, but I ran into two people I spent at least an hour speaking with. One person I knew and another I did not. More on this later…
In winter you’ll need a good base layer (I use a long sleeve merino wool one), some decent gloves, a warm hat to cover your ears, and warm socks for your toes. My friend and I who that have both been riding through Japanese winters for years always, always end up with cold and painful toes after a ride. Still haven’t found a good solution despite going out wearing two pairs of sock and two pairs of shoe covers. I’ve even tried covering my toes in aluminum foil. Didn’t work though.
Ya but I’ll bet you picked up great radio stations. Foil toes, never thought of that. I’m getting gloves for sure, ears for sure and socks for sure. The battle begins.