As the weather has gotten a bit colder, I’ve been getting my first taste of winter riding.

Though, really, it is just October. I can’t imagine that I’m going to look back in January and agree that this was a taste of real winter weather! Still, it is new for me.

And I’ve found that it isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. When I first started the bike commuting, it was with extremely serious intent. I knew I wanted to ride through the winter, and I didn’t let myself think about it too much because I dreaded the hell out of riding in the cold.

But so far, even 35 degree weather hasn’t seemed like that big of a deal. In fact, the most I’ve worn so far is a long sleeve t-shirt and an unlined wind breaker. Not that big a deal.

And then on Monday afternoon it rained. The forecasters totally blew it on Monday, predicting only 30% chance of rain, afternoon temps in the mid to high 50’s….and instead it was a steady rain by the time I went home, and it was 39 degrees – ten degrees cooler on the ride home than the ride in.

Still, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. I thought I’d be bone-chilled by the time I got home, but instead I was only moderately chilly, and was mainly concerned with whether my shoes would dry out by morning.

They did.

And it rained again Tuesday morning, the whole way in. 41 degrees.

I learned that my shoes dry out in a matter of hours, though I’m sure it helped that I had them under the desk, where my heater is.

Tuesday afternoon it was dry again. And windy. Windy to the point where I wondered if it was smart for me to be on the road. I can honestly say that the wind yesterday was the most dangerous thing I’ve faced out there on the road, so far. It felt, at times, like the wind was going to pick up my front tire and play ball. That was a tad scary.

But those were just occasional gusts, and the majority of the ride was pretty vanilla.

It was supposed to be windy again this morning. Windy enough (15-25mph winds with 35 mph gusts, potentially picking up later in the afternoon) that I was seriously thinking that from a safety standpoint I might not be able to ride.  I got up this morning, and looked outside.  Dead calm.  I looked at weather.com, and the wind predictions had dropped by 10mph, no discussion of gusts.

And so I rode. The air was still, other than occasional gusting, and even those gusts were nothing to worry about.  I’m so glad I rode.

I know I need to figure out where that line is, certain conditions that make riding unsafe, but for today I’m just happy I was able to ride.

I never thought that the wind would be the limiting factor, back when it was warm and I dreaded riding in chilly weather.

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