At the risk of jinxing the recent mild temperatures, one local cyclist is declaring himself a survivor of the cold winter commute made daily on his bicycle.
“I tell ya, this was probably the toughest winter I’ve ever cycled through.” Stated the man through a balaclava face mask and ski goggles crusted with salt and sand. “Most winters here you can get away without much worry, but this year was an almost constant hazard to myself just being out there, and I’m really thankful I survived.”
Winter cycling has seen moderate growth in recent years, no doubt due to the extreme sports crowd seeking more and more adrenaline-based activities to keep themselves entertained. While considered a healthy and exciting alternative to commuting via traditional vehicle, or public transit, others think that the practice borders on lunacy.
“These guys are nuts,” ranted a city bus driver, on the condition of anonymity. “You’re driving around a bus with all the windows caked in dirt, there’s snow falling, banks everywhere are reducing the lane widths, and you’ve got a mad man in a helmet cruising down the street on his bike, skidding around corners and shaking all over the place. It’s dangerous, and not just to themselves. If I have to move quickly to avoid running him over, I might crush some parked cars, or sideswipe a minivan. Are their thrills worth that kind of risk?”
The survivor however, feels that everything has a risk, and it is a matter of keeping things in balance with each other.
“If I was driving a car, I could spin out and run over a crowd, or drive into a storefront. On a bicycle, it’s just me and mother nature, and I’m hoping that everyone else will take care of themselves.”
When asked about more traditional, seasonal cyclists, the man shook his head with a laugh.
“Those losers. They don’t even know what they’re missing.”