A groan of displeasure in response to the 8F displayed on my iPhone woke poor Junior. That was a month ago but the memory is fresh. Not because of any notable event during the ride to work. It's memorable because of the frustration and anger that can be generated in the preparation for riding in cold weather and how that can affect the ride itself.
The first cue that something was wrong appeared as I was pulling on my Tourmaster Overpants and I realized I had forgotten to put long underwear on. At 8F you need them. So a trip back upstairs, take off my boots and pants, pull on the polypropylene underwear, pants back on, socks, boots, and trudge downstairs.
When it's really cold I use more layers. On goes the sweater, then windbreaker, then jacket liner, and finally my First Gear Kilimanjaro IV riding jacket. It's a tight fit in the arms due to the thickness of all the layers. Wrestling, squirming, pushing the jacket on I then have to struggle to get the armor back into place and then zip and button up the jacket. After pulling on the ski mask I pick the helmet up off the radiator where I've been toasting it and put it on, then reach for my electric gloves toasting as well.
And then I utter a frustrated single word. I forgot to put the wires inside the jacket. Grumbling and reciting some well worn mantras I finally get the wires in place, gloves on and push the scooter out into the driveway. Almost ready to leave I realize I don't have my wallet, iPhone or keys which I took out of my pockets on the first pants change.
The toasty gloves and helmet are cold now. I've not plugged in the gloves yet. And I'll realize shortly they aren't working anyway. And I realize I don't have my camera. I don't ever ride without a camera.
So there the Vespa sits, in front of the house, nearly 20 minutes to get from the house to this position. My head's in an angry spin -- it's full of briars.
In a hurry to get to work I didn't think to have breakfast or pack a lunch and was happy to stop at Subway to get both and warm my now frozen hands. Stepping inside from 8F to 75F and high humidity meant -- you know -- instantly fogged and dripping glasses and helmet.
Then quiet, under-the-breath muttering and questioning the universe asking if I was wrong thinking riding was supposed to be fun.
Still managed to get to work early with one last look back at the scooter before heading to my office. Or so I thought. Once inside I realize my shoulder back is still in the topcase. Back I go only to realize at the Vespa that the key is still in my riding pants -- back in my office.
At this point my frustration is mixing with thoughts about a story I have to edit and a proposal I'm working on. It's just a damn ugly mental state, that head full of briars.
Eventually everything is as it should be but I realized not every trip is a magical mystery tour. Some rides leave something to be desired. And often the challenge or frustration is worth pushing through.
Maybe that's a good thing.