i need a sunburn.
toronto is a cold place to be, this time of year, and winter has come with tooth-chilling cold but zero snow. this means that it is still plenty good to ride a bike around the cracked and swollen streets, blistering one's face in the wind chill and forsaking the cool vented helmet for the windproof cap and goggles (and less vented, and much less cool helmet). it's just that it kinda sucks. and it's cool.
it's hard enough to get out and ride a bike when it's warm and beautiful and there are a million other things on the to-do list. it's quite another challenge to get dressed, get out, and ride when it's minus 20 celsius with the windchill when you're standing still, and there's just enough salt on the road to refrain from taking out the fancy bike. this means planning to ride on the not so fancy bike, and that's almost not even fun. wait, it's not fun at all. more bumps in the winter. more cracks in the road and in my knuckles. more rattling going through a harsh steel frame right to my frozen sits bones. more smiles frozen solid on my face underneath my fleece neck gaiter. and then - wait for it: at least as much time undressing as riding. it's like being in kindergarten again, but without the cookies.
it's also cool.
in fact, it's f-ing freezing. but really, there is still that juvenile self-glorification (see: rapha) that results from subjecting oneself to unnecessary suffering, particularly when one is the only one subjecting oneself (everyone else opted for spin classes in full assos kits and running shoes). one begins to think: i am hardcore. i am practically enjoying myself. i love bikes. i am so fit. i can't feel my..anything. there is also that juvenile fascination/self-awareness upon return of experiencing the slow full-body thaw, inch par excruciating inch. winter hurts, even as it leaves the body.
yeah, so winter sucks in toronto for people who like riding fancy bikes up smooth hills past vineyards and orchards toward ecstasy-inducing goat milk gelato. winter also rocks. sometimes. some wheres. it's quiet, cold, crisp, and most certainly epic.