Just a "press release" to announce the next step in my bicycling evolution, winter certification. This is loosely defined as being able to get to work by bicycle when the roads are covered with snow.
I tried this last year when there was unplowed snow on the roads, and could not get through, and turned back. This time, the roads all had gotten a preliminary swipe with the plows, but they still were covered with the packed snow. (Eskimos must have a special word for that.) Since it still was snow, almost all the way, and I had no difficulty moving on it with my new studded tires and lighter winter bike, I feel justified in claiming that I am capable of riding in snow. If the snow ever is deep enought to stop me, it is going to hinder greatly the motorized traffic as well.
Now that I have achieved this fourth certification, I am in search of a commemorative patch to sew on my jacket. I have to find a design and someone who makes such things in small volumes (of 1). The three other certifications I have achieved are for cold, rain, and darkness. This winter certification completes my advanced level of cycling capability.
Now for the next challenge, I am reaching for the three "grand master of utility cycling" certifications. The first will be a grocery run by bicycle, hauling home at least four standard bags of groceries. The next, which I no longer can achieve because of my marital status, would be going on a date on a bicycle. The final level, which I also can no longer achieve because the kids are too old, would be an accomplishment so rare and so difficult that I probably never could do it even if I had the chance. Nor could anyone, probably. That highest level of utility cycling capability would be...picking up one's teenage daughter from school on a bicycle.
Maybe I could get some sort of honorary patch for those top two levels.