It was an odd place to ride to, this small college on Boston’s north shore, but I plotted a route that strung together unexpected urban bike paths, connecting roads that ribboned along lakes and ponds, a few sprawling residential neighborhoods, and only one or two traffic-choked main thoroughfares. It was a long ride to take on after work, too, into the dark. And it was summer, so it was warm out. I arrived sweaty.
I’d been invited as a guest speaker by a friend of mine who teaches there part time, a graduate-level seminar, probably 15 students. I’d told my friend I’d be riding up, and she said, “That’s a long ride,” and I said, “I need the miles.”
I walked in, tapping across the linoleum floor in my road shoes with a fistful of paper towel from the men’s room down the hall, furiously mopping my face. Class was already in progress. I looked absurd. I felt sort of stupid. But I needed the miles.
I’ve had this same experience a few times riding my bike to the beach to meet my wife and kids. Ever try to walk on sand in road shoes? Ever ride home in bibs wet from swimming in the ocean?
This week’s Group Ride asks, what’s the weirdest place you’ve ever worn cycling kit? How did you feel at the time? How did people react?