The whole country seems to be pretty hot this week. Chicago has been at a high of 90 degrees, including during my ride home yesterday. As I sat at a stoplight in the sweltering heat of the direct sun, car exhaust swirling around my head, I fondly recalled the winter. But is one really better than the other?
In the sweltering summer:
- I wear a tank top and skorts, carry my work clothes with me and change in the bathroom at work after freshening up with an Action Wipe or washcloth.
- My hair gets sweaty, especially my bangs.
- I ride more slowly to stay cooler.
- I slather on sun block to keep my sensitive skin from burning.
- Lots of other cyclists are on the road with me.
In the freezing winter:
- I can wear my work clothes on my bike.
- I have to wear extra clothing layers – tights, leggings, scarf, gloves, wool socks, snow boots, ear muffs.
- Oma is the bike of choice, equipped with studded tires.
- I ride slowly to watch out for slush and patches of ice.
- Lights are essential, as my commute is usually in the dark.
- Only a few other cyclists are out there with me.
Both extremes have their challenges and benefits. Of course, the best weather for cycling is between the extremes, which is most of the time.
How do you deal with the different seasons? Would you choose sweltering or freezing, if you had to pick one? And why oh why do most people choose to ride their bikes on the hottest days and abandon them after Labor Day?