What I wear, when I wear it, and how it works on my bike
Linus and I rode to work in the rain today. Well, a light drizzle, at least. I wasn’t expecting rain when I left the house (I somehow failed to look out the window and so although I knew it would rain today, I did not realize it was raining now); I only just had the presence of mind to shove my skirt in my pannier and ride to work in my knickers, which were damp, but not soaked, by the time I got to work. But it was a nice ride, anyway, mild and uncrowded. All the snow was melted, except on the Oak Street curve, which was passable without dismounting only on a narrow path, slightly wider than a bike tire.
There were more joggers than cyclists, although I saw one woman who often passes me when I’m on the path later rather than earlier. Spring is certainly on the way, however, which means my days of riding the Lakefront Path (Lakefront Trail) are ending. Foot traffic makes the lakefront impractical for bike commuting in the morning and impossible in the evenings. People stretch across the entire path, strolling 4 and 5 abreast; small children cross without looking for cyclists; joggers make sudden U-turns without headchecking; cyclists pass without calling out their presence. It’s not safe; it’s not fun; and the infrastructure is wrong for the dual uses. This is, frankly, the reason I don’t support Chicago’s nascent bikeshare program.
A person spontaneously and casual choosing a bikeshare bike is not likely a person confident riding in heavy city traffic. Bikeshare–it seems to me–is just going to put more people on the Lakefront Path, creating more conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians, without bringing any improvements to the cycling infrastructure, such as barrier-protected lanes both on the city streets and on the Lakefront.
At any rate, today I am wearing one of the black wool crewnecks (the one with the three-quarter sleeve and exposed seam); the gray Smartwool skirt and ribbed cotton tights. Those boots (which do nicely in the rain).
I have rain resistant trousers for riding home, and the Nau summer shell and my Icebreaker Quantum hood for warmth. It’s not a bad return to the office, even if I already miss the mountain.