It's been a big two weeks of bicycling now that the cold weather is finally settling into Indianapolis. Here are a few snap-shots of my time on the saddle.
1.) On evening commute home, I sailed out the front door of the State Museum deciding in a split second to follow the Cultural Trail through the city rather than the canal underneath it. I maneuvered my way down Washington Street, cursing the difficult path by the Conrad Hotel, as always. (Why do they park cars in the middle of the bike path flow?) When I turned North on Alabama, I found myself in a herd of three other bike commuters.
We kept pace with each other as we pedaled our way toward Mass Ave. I drafted behind one of the more experience cyclists, and in turn found someone riding rather close to my back wheel. I wondered briefly at the etiquette of drafting behind strangers, but shrugged the thought away as my brief companions turned to go their separate ways on the Avenue. For a delicious moment I felt as if it was the height of riding season on the busiest of trail days. And in the next split second, as the cold swept through my lungs, I felt part of an elite group of hardcore cyclists sticking it through until next season.
2.) I also learned about "Moose knuckles" this week. I pulled up beside a well-dressed rider one morning on the corner of Mass Ave and Michigan Street. We said a cheery good morning to one another, a normal occurrence on bike but one that's rare by car. I pried my frozen hands in their homemade mittens from my handlebars and marveled at pockets attached to his handlebars--inside them his hands were cozy and warm.
"Moose-knuckles," he said noticing my gaze and added with a knowing smile. "Just Google moose-knuckles online and you'll find a pair."
I thanked him as I turned onto Michigan Street and he continued down Mass Ave.
"Moose-knuckles, moose-knuckles, moose-knuckles," I repeated to myself so as not to forget.
3.) I thought I might upchuck for the first time because of riding. In my entire search for advice, this little secret was not revealed. On a morning ride to work at a normal pace, I felt my lungs fill with icy air. The first very cold day I rode and my heavy intake of arctic breath made my stomach churn. When I finally arrived at work, I swung my leg over my bike and doubled-over panting. I've since invested in a bandana to wear over my nose and mouth for very cold days.
4.) I turned 27 this week, on 12/12/12. But I got an early birthday present the weekend prior. I was doing the annual Christmas decorating with my sweetheart; I'm a softy for Christmas decorating and have been slowly collecting my own tiny Christmas village with fake snow, tiny people and light-up houses. As I was setting up my village, my honey presented me with "Comet's Bike Shop." It's a tiny brick front building with a light-up display window and a few bikes parked out front. I put it in-between my greenhouse and my vegan bakery. And with that I wish you all a Happy Hipster Christmas!!!