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Thermometers and Gauges

“…A lot of new bikes have thermometers on them, and I like watching them as much as I like watching the miles tick by on the odometer. At 40 degrees the chill on exposed skin is almost unbearable, but go up just 11 degrees and it’s okay. You can watch as the number climb into the 70’s…just right. And then they keep going up, so fast they almost blur, as you roll into the arid Valley, til it’s 98 degrees and you can feel your skin burning and moisture streaming out from under your jacket. Then back up the mountain and the numbers sink until you’re back to shivering. We feel every inch of the journey with our oldest, most basic sense.

As riders we know how narrow that band is between comfort and misery, as marginal as the zone between terror and elation and we love to ride it. Someday soon, nanotechnology will give us affordable, comfort controlled riding suits that let you select a comfortable temperature with just a turn of a dial. I have a feeling we’ll buy them, but sometimes we’ll leave them unplugged. Most of the time.”

Gabe Ets-Hokin, Citybike, May 2014


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