Sunny Day, Sweepin’ the Clouds Away

The freakishly warm and sunny New England November day we had never saw today coming.

I’ve been without my commute bike for over a month (My Swobo Dixon is probably still at Swobo Headquarters – more on this later) . Besides the (swine?) flu that put me out for a week, I had spent the rest of November commuting to/from work on the T – which, by the way,  I think was how I caught the flu. This is the longest stretch of period I’ve gone without my usual bicycle commute in about four years.

Last night h4ckw0+th helped me put the finishing touches on the Columbia Shadow. Also last night I discovered a sty in my right eye, which meant that I had to go without my contact lenses today. Riding with eye glasses takes away my peripheral vision and makes me paranoid, so my plan was to take the T and wait a few more days until my eye behaves itself.

Just before leaving the house this morning I decided to check the weather for giggles. 3 minutes later I’ve got my glasses on and was out the door on the Shadow. So that I can look back on this day and tell my grand kids that December in New England can be gorgeous:


The ride was tricky: I’m not used to the oldskool shifter, which resulted in a whole lot of disconcerting noises and jerky pedaling. I spent a couple of miles sticking to whichever gear it was I landed on, but that made starting from red lights more challenging than it needed to be.  Plus: my glasses-induced paranoia weighed on me, and I felt like I was surrounded by Things-I-Couldn’t-See-But-Are-Surely-Going-To-Kill-Me.

Then I got to ride behind an amazing cyclist who followed cycling laws the entire way I was behind him, from Kirkland Village to the Boston side of Longfellow. Thank you, Mr. Cyclist-With-Clip-On-Light-Like-The-One-I’ve-Got. I chilled out some (because, well, if a door was going to open into the bike lane, he would see it first and brake! Swell.), and thoroughly enjoyed the weather.

More awesome bike news (to me) today: David Hembrow’s post on the world’s first cycling superhighway in Breda, the Netherlands. Watch the video – it made me want to move to Europe.

Time to head home! Shadow is well-lit for the trip.

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