The lack of activity on this blog could be interpreted as a sign that the Bike Year is over, that I abandoned the experiment. But, actually, the opposite is true. I've continued to ride on almost a daily basis. I honestly cannot remember the last time I drove to work.
Using my bicycle for tasks that previously would have placed me in the driver's seat is not really an "experiment" these days. It's part of my daily life. And I suppose that's why I haven't felt compelled to post in recent weeks. It all seems so unremarkable. I now understand why Bike Year hasn't attracted many visitors. It isn't terribly interesting. In fact, I guess it's pretty boring.
Still, as I peel months off the calendar, I've become aware that even though utility cycling has become my routine, it is always changing. The big change lately is the weather. Having lived in South Georgia and North Florida for most of my life, I've never owned a decent pair of gloves. Even when I lived downtown and walked a lot, I never bothered with gloves. After all, they are already sewn into jackets in the form of pockets.
Now, on cold mornings, I'm gripping the handlebars through $3 gloves I found years ago on the clearance table at the GAP. Finally I know why they were so cheap (aside the probable child labor and all that). These are not gloves, but more like hand costumes. They give the impression that I'm wearing gloves in much the same way that the Halloween costumes sold at K-Mart when I was a boy conveyed the notion of characters from "Star Wars." The wearer of the thin plastic jumpsuit with an image of C3PO on the chest was never mistaken for a real robot, nor did he or she ever really feel like a robot. In much the same way, my cold hands are acutely aware that they are not wearing real gloves, but merely an homage.