Hot Chocolate. Happy Pedals.

Thanks, Arabica!

The Thompson family pedaled 10 miles today (well two of them did not technically pedal) between church, visiting a friend's house, and the Hot Chocolate Ride. The high was below freezing so the hot chocolate (or tea!) at the end of the afternoon ride was quite welcome. But with extra layers, thick wool socks, heavy mittens, and my trusty balaclava, the cold hardly crossed my mind as a deterrent. I do not mean to sound overly flippant about that. In fact, just typing that allows me to reflect on how oddly normal it has become for me to be out in nearly all temps. The boys, toasty warm in their insulated overalls made for exploring snowy days, peeped not once about the temperature either, and we all enjoyed the light show on Douglas Ave on our way home for dinner with a friend this evening.

Last winter was mild, but at some point I realized my body had adjusted to the temperature outside
This is a "Pandito Balaclava."
This is not what my balaclava looks like.
enough that I felt warmer all the time. I felt as though somehow I had acclimatized myself to the weather. It was the best winter I can remember in terms of the relatively limited number of sick days across my whole family and my ability to make it through January and February without a big mental health lull. I've heard midwesterners (Like Minnesotans and Wisconsinites. I think that latitude is even more intrepid.) say, the only way to survive the winter is to get out into it. Indeed, it's been proven that bike commuters are so much less likely to lose work days and productivity due to health issues that certain corporations have even begun to give them a bump in pay as an incentive to commute on two wheels (Check out this grist.org piece for more on bike-friendly business practices).

The only thing I did want today was an electric assist. At the end of the day, exhausted from preaching, peopling, and staying up late every night for the past nine days writing blog posts, I coveted the ability to push a button and give my wheels that much more power. It would have been nice just to have the reassurance that it was there if I needed it, even if I didn't use it. That would be an investment for my family that would mean making a big shift in other areas. So, for today, I was grateful for the power in my own pedal strokes and the opportunity to be outside, having fun with other people. 

Thumbs up for hot chocolate!


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