I rode my bike into work yesterday (Thursday, Jan. 2). It was raining lightly and the temperature was around 40. It’s fairly easy and not terribly expensive to have the necessary gear to layer up for such a ride. The most expensive thing for me is a pair of Ortlieb Front Roller Classic bags (panniers)–what I use to make sure my Macbook Air (which I also slide into a gallon-size Zip-lock bag), camera, and clothes all stay dry.
By the time I was ready to head home, it was dark and the temperature was 25 degrees with a windchill of around 12. That’s my weather threshold for riding (nothing below 25), but I decided not to use the handy Nashville MTA #5 Bus with its front bumper bike racks and friendly driver who is always willing to stop and let me off a block from my home, despite it not being an official stop. (Sidenote for Nashvillians: MTA busses will also pick you up if you flag them down where there is not an official stop.)
Whenever I ride in such cold or rainy weather, I get the feeling people driving by think I’m nuts–even more than when they see me riding in normal weather. But the fact is, riding in such weather is about as close to cross-country skiing as you can get if there is no snow.
If you take care of your extremities and have the right gear, it is invigorating and a whole lot of fun–and you don’t have to fly north or west to enjoy it.
Unfortunately, we don’t have a mountain range in Nashville to provide the scenery one can enjoy in the Rockies. That is, unless you count the range called the Green Hills.