The temperature was around 20 F (-7 C) this morning when I left the house. Some people - myself included - might wonder why I would choose to cycle on a day like this.
- It's not any more difficult than my other options. Let's see. I could have walked to the MARTA station. I would still need to dress warmly, it would take a little longer, and I would be waiting or underground for much of the trip. I could have driven to the MARTA station, or even to work. That would have involved warming up the car, dealing with traffic, hunting for parking, and possibly paying to park. It would have taken about the same amount of time. And I still would have needed to dress pretty warmly. So that's a wash.
- It's comfortable. Since I cycle regularly, I don't have to think too hard about what to bring or wear. I added an extra wool sweater and some thicker gloves, since I was a little chilly on Monday, and was comfortable for the whole trip.
- It's beautiful! There are views of the city that you can only enjoy by traveling under your own power. This is something that I can't explain to someone who hasn't experienced it... The clarity of the sky on a cold winter morning, arching over your head and reflecting in thousands of windows, is breathtaking. The rhythm of shallow orange sunlight slanting through a stone railing - brilliant. The towers of the city emerging from behind buildings as you approach the urban core... There is no way to describe it; it can only be experienced by walking or bicycling. Even the train, which has many other merits, cannot give you this.
- I never regret it. No matter how unsure I feel before leaving the house or office, I am always glad to be out, flying free through the streets and perceiving the life around me.