|Final commute numbers for November|
The greatest benefit (for me) of participating is likely that it demonstrated to me that I can ride when it's cold and dark and wet; some times it was even a bit of fun. Yesterday, aka the first of December, aka the day after the end of the competition, I just automatically put on my wet-weather cycling ensemble, and set off on my bike. I've been biking to work pretty much every damned day since sometime last April and, by gum, it seems like it's just habitual now. Maybe.
As I left the office this evening, I was thinking somewhat seriously about throwing Bessie on a bus at some point but it turned out to be dry, not windy, and not too cold so I was feeling pretty invigorated even before I found myself going over the bridge in a higher gear than usual. I realized I could go to the QFC in the Junction for what I needed for dinner and, while still uphill, that's an easier--though longer--ride than heading straight home. I was, in short, feeling downright perky about things. Right up until the moment I rode straight into some low-hanging tree branches.
That stretch doesn't offer much in the way of street lights and I was looking down at the pavement where my headlight illuminated more than straight ahead. There aren't many cars but it's a stretch along which I move slowly (it's one of those stealth hills that kill me) so I tend to ride quite a bit to the right--too far to the right, as it turned out, because the damned tree branches hang out over the road, too high to hit me were I walking but the perfect elevation to slap me--hard--in the face when I'm on Bessie. Luckily, I guess, I was moving so slowly that I wasn't knocked off entirely, but it hurt a lot at the time and I was still pretty shaken an hour later. It didn't stop me from doing my errands, but I opted to push my bike for a block or two immediately after the incident, in part to allow myself time to calm down because, damn, it hurt.
I confess myself disappointed that I don't look more injured--just a bit of a cut on a slightly swollen lip; did I mention it hurt?