Pedal Strike

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February 17th, 2010

snow pas

As much as I absolutely love my sweatpants, when uncertain about the appropriate dress code for an occasion or event, I err on the side of caution. I will always overdress.

Not to the point of looking absurd; just in a conservative sort of way. What can I say? I’m Japanese and come from a family in which being underdressed is simply a precursor to vocational suicide. So add that to the [long] list of things I’m completely anal about. Fun basically goes to die when it comes to throwing an outfit together for a professional event.

Fun does, however, come back in full force when I’m on the bike. Granted, it’s more of a “blind person who put together an ensemble” kind of fun, but for me, anything that doesn’t involve a black or gray suit = fun. And when it’s above 30F for once, I can get a little excited, and a little carried away.


Which meant I was going for something cute with shorts over my leggings and only some flimsy legwarmers to protect my legs and knees from the elements yesterday. When it was snowing. We’re not talking about something like the lame sprinkling of “snow” we got last week; this was full blown “the sky looks white” Boston snow. But only predicted “1-2 inches” of snow. For Boston, that translates to “cloudy.” I plowed right on ahead, completely underdressed.

All that “fun” I had felt earlier that morning as I happily pulled on something less than 10 million layers melted into slight discomfort by mile 1. Then into irritating unpleasantness. My feet were soaked, as was…well, every single part of my goddamn body. Snow was stuck to everything and water was dripping into all the cracks that weren’t completely covered in waterproof material. And I was like wow, this is really fun…IN A COMPLETELY NOT FUN KIND OF WAY.


I also did realize that I looked ridiculous, if not downright foolish. At that point, though, I was just trying to get to school without wiping out and/or getting mowed over by a car. Given the fact that I had trouble slowing down [much less stopping], my choice of attire and its disasterous consequences were quickly becoming unnecessary distractions. Drenched and cold, I finally made it, and by the entrance of the campus, a friend cheerfully waved from the cozy confines of her car. And my only thought was: well, fuck my life.

Which is exactly the thought I’m trying to avoid when I overdress. Yeah, I know; total snow pas. I’ve learned my lesson. Next time, the cute clothes are going into the Ortlieb, not on my legs to plow through a snowstorm.

Tags: 8 Comments

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8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 100psi Feb 17, 2010 at 9:51 am

    did i see you at trader joe’s last night, with a silver ortlieb, and then get on the t and not a bike? hmmm? ha.

  • 2 Matthew Feb 17, 2010 at 10:19 am

    If it’s any consolation, my “look” for riding northeast Ohio winters would be best described as “homeless man attempts to summit Everest”.

  • 3 Kurt Feb 17, 2010 at 11:14 am

    There is so much to learn when you dare to experience life and nature directly.

    “…people have become woolly mice”

    “Belgian rule number 7: Always wear overshoes”

    1984 – Black wool tights, Cable knit sweater, Navy puffy vest, baclava, ski mask, ski gloves, ski goggles and bright blue discount booties.

    Many, many rounds of loud laughter from onlookers. I rode 25 miles through a snow storm to work. I had subordinates call in to work due to snow. They lived 5 miles from work.

    2010 – Now i can afford Rapha.

  • 4 H. Harker Feb 17, 2010 at 3:01 pm


  • 5 pedalstrike Feb 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    100psi — was that you??? after my ride home, i decided i didn’t want to re-enact the idiatrod just to pick up a loaf of bread and some veggies. so i took the t. i know, the shame. but the boots looked cute, right?
    matthew — ahahahahahaha
    kurt — impressive! i still need to follow belgian rule number 7…i can’t believe i don’t have overshoes at this point in my life.
    h. harker — lol. definitely around jens 5; jens hc is impressive…but i’ll never want to try it.

  • 6 Chris Feb 19, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I totally flaked out this year with the snow. I rode in to work almost every day last year, but now with the wife, I get forbidden from doing so every now and then…

  • 7 Sam Apr 25, 2010 at 9:45 pm


  • 8 Ian Apr 26, 2010 at 4:30 am

    If it’s any consolation, my “look” for riding northeast Ohio winters would be best described as “homeless man attempts to summit Everest”.