Bears are totally cool to stomp around all day carrying nothing but their wits and claws and bear fur around. They can get away with that. I am a totally different animal, and as a not special or unique snowflake among my fellow humans, I need stuff to survive. We are animals that require tools and clothes to survive out of doors. I went too skinny on clothes and paid for it today.
I rode through some torrential downpour in 40 something degrees and soaked through and was cold, shivering, and miserable. I considered selling the bike for a bus ticket because I was thoroughly cold and ill prepared for spring showers. I didn't prepare for hypothermia but really I didn't prepare to stave it off. I ducked into a coffee shop and dripped all over the floor while I drank hot tea. I studied my maps and looked miserably at the miles ahead through more rain.
I hopped on the google and while it was still early for a lot of bike shops to be open, REI opened its doors just as I slapped a U-lock on my land whale set up. I looked for the waterproofiest, warmest, maximalist gear that I could get my hands on. No shit I would have shelled out that bus ticket money and then some for whatever they had. I couldn't believe they had nothing waterproof, water repellent, or super warm but I found the dregs of winter sale stuff and some neoprene bike shoe covers and some hand warmers and I got the eff out of there into sunshine and a wonderful raise in temperature.
A homeless man squatted next to my land whale on top of a stack of newspapers with his bike behind him. I gave him a cliff bar and I set about sunning some of my soaked gloves and minimalist gear before I stuffed them back in. I rearranged my pack, donned all of my layers despite the sun, and when I rode off the homeless man wished me luck and for a tailwind wherever I was going. Thanks, mate.
Life on the road has been much. much. much. better since I agreed to taking more stuff onboard. Stuff kept me warm(er) and dry(er) and comfortable. Riding down a heavily trafficked highway in torrential downpour is not fun, nor does it set me up to enjoy any riding later. If I'm comfortable I can focus on seeing the beautiful places I'm passing through instead of being on a loop repeating how cold I feel. I'm pretty stoked on being like a bear now--able to stomp around rainy places all day focused on my next score of berries and next couple of hills, now possible because of gloves, tools, and a bit of wit that protect this delicate flower from the elements.
|selfie featuring either huge smile or duck face but I'm warm and pawing my phone through huge gloves.|