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Why I biked today
Yesterday I had a bad experience with the Blue Line. Long story short, it made me miss a Metra train to the south suburbs so I didn’t make it to a meeting in Hazel Crest. Today I woke up with the decision already made that it was going to be a biking day. I turned on the radio and listened to the weather report- negative seventeen degrees was the actual temperature. Um, what? I looked online to double-check that they were in fact saying negative seventeen and not negative seven. Hmm. I started to change my mind. I doubted myself while I was putting on two base layers and assessing the thickness of my wool sweaters. The weather report came on again, “Negative seventeen degrees, dangerously cold with wind chills in the negative thirty degree range”. Hmm. Maybe this is a bad idea. I started to wonder if my free wheel would seize, or if other parts of my bike would stop working entirely. Strange things can happen at that temperature.
I started to dress instead for being a pedestrian and riding the train when a story came on the radio about the upcoming inauguration. The reporter talked about how crowded the subway will be in D.C. and the difficulty of getting around on Jan. 20th. At which point, I said aloud to the radio, “Duh, ride a bicycle!” (I talk to the radio in the morning, especially when it is traffic-related.) And then, as if the NPR spokesperson heard me, Eric Gilliland of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association came on to promote their free bicycle valet service for the day of the inauguration. Eric said something to the tune of, “A bike will be the best way to get around during the inauguration.” Those words were the extra push I needed to get on my bike this morning. It reminded me that I bike to work because it’s fast and reliable.
Winter Bike to Work Day on January 20th looks to be mild compared to today. So, in the spirit of winter bike to work day, I rode my bike from Logan Square to the Loop when the temperature outside was negative fifteen degrees. I think I’ll be telling my future grandkids about this one.
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