Commuting in Upstate New York
So that time of year has come to the Northeast. Some call it autumn. Some call it Fall.
My morning commutes are 36 degrees, yet the afternoon trips are 70 degrees, necessitating the carrying of extra clothing to handle the greatly differing temperatures. My back thanks me for the extra attention.
Every morning carries a head wind on the way into work, and a wicked headwind on the way home as well. My legs ache every day.
Every afternoon is one giant bug hatch, leaving me plastered with tiny insects by the time I get home. I get an entire extra meal of protein every day, but it doesn't taste like steak.
My eyes water in the morning, and my glasses fog up in the cold. I have no idea how I ride for 15 miles while completely blind.
The shoulder of the road is filled with wet leaves, acorns, apples, and black walnuts, trying to throw from my bike.
The animals do a lot of moving this time of year, creating road kill every couple hundred feet. I have to hold my breath most of the way home, due to the lemming-like mortality rate of stinky skunks, possums, and raccoons.
My coffee thermos in my bike cage is luke warm by the time I get to work. I miss hot beverages.
The shadows get very long on October afternoons. Itís not dark enough for reflective tape to make any difference, Iím never sure whether to bother using my tiny blinky lights or not, and my bright dayglo jersey disappears in the bright autumn colored canopy. I might as well be wearing camouflage for the drivers.
I have to battle farm vehicles on the shoulder of the road every day, trying to pass them as they plod along at 12mph. They of course speed up an extra 5mph as soon as I feverishly try to pedal past them, just to piss me off.
Iíll have to put the bike up on the trainer soon, and start taking the bus. And as I ride in my cold damp basement each evening, in a vain attempt to keep my legs in shape for spring, all Iíll be able to think of is how much I miss my bike commute to work.