A Solstice Post: Gifts I Give Myself by Riding in the Winter

  • Zero worries about whether the car will start in the cold and no windshield scraping–my motor doesn’t freeze up and I don’t have windows.

    NOT my bike, although I wish it were--it's a cutie!

  • Permission to eat my sweetheart’s delicious hand-grated hashbrowns for breakfast because I’ll be burning potatoes on the way to work.
  • The sound of my skinny tires hissing through a light frosting of snow on the ground.
  • My own breath warming my face behind the face mask I wear to block the wind.
  • The smell of woodsmoke in my neighborhood and whatever’s cooking at restaurants I pass in downtown, along with the smell of coffee roasting at one particular location some mornings.
  • The feeling of fellowship with whoever rode in the bike lane before me and left a track.
  • The childlike feeling of glee at being the first to ride in the bike lane and leave a track in the untouched snow.
  • The chance to smile and make eye contact with a cold-looking pedestrian waiting for the light to change at a corner as we share a closer contact with nature’s realities than the people inside vehicles.
  • The delicate tracery of frost on the black bike rack at work.
  • Rosy cheeks that require no Maybelline or L’Oreal whatsoever.
  • The sound of geese honking overhead (shouldn’t they be somewhere farther south this time of year?!) and unidentified little birds in the bushes.
  • The realization that cold weather just isn’t as—well—cold as people seem to think it is if you get out and move around a little.
  • The realization that fingertips that were cold when I began the ride are now warm thanks to the blood pumping through my veins because I worked on that uphill stretch.
  • The silence on a traffic-free side street.
  • A sincere appreciation for my warm house and a hearty bowl of soup at the end of the ride home.
  • An awareness of the difference between the soft black of a summer night and the crisp black of a winter night.
  • The joy of riding my bike.

With appreciation for the friends on Facebook who shared their own special winter riding experiences, a couple of which reminded me of items for my list.

Related Reading

Your Turn

  • What do you like about winter riding?

7 Responses to “A Solstice Post: Gifts I Give Myself by Riding in the Winter”

  1. It’s just victory when I go cycling to do shopping at below freezing temperatures with icy road side patches. And bringing home my double panniers of groceries. I really have to plan my winter grocery shopping since I’m car-free. Can walk but I get home faster on bike. 🙂

    I also reward myself on bike, whenever there is a lovely gentle snowfall which has not yet frozen over.

    Merry special Christmas to you and your family!

  2. The 2-litre ice cream container will remain frozen on the way back home no matter how long it takes to get there


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