I really hate walking. Even though I live so close to school, and the campus itself is small compared to a lot of universities, it’s been at least two years since I last walked to class. Biking is fast and thrilling, and I’m especially intoxicated by the sensation of wind rushing past my face. Just like the reason I play basketball is because I’m so addicted to the sound of a perfect swish, sometimes I feel like the bike ride is what motivates me to get up in the morning and go to class. Unfortunately, I can reach any part of the campus within 5 minutes so the thrill ends just as soon as it begins.
But this means, of course, that I bike to school even when snow and ice coat the ground. The city and campus grounds crew do a reasonable job of deicing the paths so it’s not terrible. Still, people think I’m crazy for biking in these conditions. I was locking my bike today when a woman walked by me and told me that I was “a brave man”.
I don’t get it. On the bike, my traction is brilliant, my control sublime. Sure, I can’t go as fast as normal, but I ride fearlessly over patches of ice without a second thought. After locking my bike, I still need to walk to the building, and the difference in grip is astonishing. I have to stiffen my joints and tread awkwardly around the frozen precipitation because the footing is very insecure and I’m scared to death of slipping and landing on my back. I’m even wearing shoes with decent grip. If I had my old shoes on, forget it.
People look at me on my bike and shake their head, but they’re really missing out. Biking on wintry days may be one of the best kept secrets out there.