We’re in the midst of a mini heat wave here in this far northwest corner of the United States. I use the term heat wave loosely because really the temps will only be in the low 80s here in Bellingham, which is a walk in a frozen park compared to the heat waves they have in the South and East…or Death Valley. Having lived in the first two places (Does anyone actually live in Death Valley?), I know how ridiculous our version of a heat wave is. But when your average summer temp is around 72, when most houses still don’t have air-conditioning, and those same houses have lots of windows so we catch as much light as possible during our long gray winters, temps in the 80s can be miserable and we are quite vociferous in our bitching about it. But around the time the complaints hit their peak and we once again consider forking out thousands of dollars for air-conditioning, we’re back down to reasonable temperatures, we get some rain, and life is sweet.
I’ve never liked the heat. Whether that’s due to my Scandinavian ancestry or just the fact that I’m a wimp, I’m not sure. So I love living here in the land where polar fleece is the height of fashion and socks with sandals are worn with pride. That means that I spend a lot more time riding in cooler or cold temperatures than I do when it’s actually hot. And I like it that way. I can put on enough clothes to stay warm but I can only shed so many before I have to cover myself in body paint, invite a few of my friends, slather on the Chamois Glide, and declare a naked bike ride. Ewww!
On those days when I know the temperatures are going to soar, I try to get out early when it’s still in the 60s and that means I have to get off my iPad, dislodge the cat, and will myself to not refill my coffee. Like today! Then I spend a lot of time riding the wooded trails where I usually encounter many Bellinghamsters with the same idea. By the time I do about 16 miles, it’s already hot and I really do shed all my clothes, skip the body paint, and hop in the shower. Then I can spend the rest of the day in the shade with my iPad, cats, and coffee…iced.