Wednesday, January 18, 2012
My Own Private Insanity
Riding in the winter is my own private insanity. I do it over and over again with the same results.
In more serious moments, like this evening, standing in the parking lot at work, looking at the darkening sky, wondering how dry the road would be, asking myself which route to take to minimize automotive pressure to rush and I'm left wondering (again) if I'm not being just a bit foolish.
This morning I almost left the Vespa in the garage; a quick look out the window revealed some dusting of snow from the previous night. Walking through the driveway I realized how much ice might remain on untreated surfaces. For those of you in warm climates read that surfaces without metal eating salt.
I don't remember the decision making process. The 29F temperature didn't matter so I must have assumed (rightly) that the roads would be clear and remain so throughout the day. What I didn't count on was being at work late and riding home in the dark.
Mental calculations are quick in the cold -- gear in place, road surface acceptable, traffic thinning, visibility good. But there are things I forget. Aggravations at night, in the cold, with visor constantly fogging and the glare of headlights making it hard to assess the road ahead for deer, living or dead, chunks of firewood, on an unfortunate instance of ice, I asked myself again, "What the hell?"
With a smile.
The ride home was uneventful save for some beautiful instances of a landscape under a dying light. And of course, there is always, every time, a rather potent feeling of accomplishment that doesn't show itself in warm air.
Is it worth the trouble, discomfort and risk? Maybe only in my own private insanity.