Cold hands whilst riding – a cautionary tale

June 18, 2010 at 00:05 | Posted in bicycles | Leave a comment
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I was a little late leaving work tonight, which meant I had to dash back so that I wasn’t late getting home. I jumped on the bike after escaping a meeting that had run late, and powered through Sydney.

I was riding the fixie. I love my fixie. I’ve been riding my other bikes a lot recently, including the heavy (and slow) Radish, and the tourer with panniers and so on, and getting on the fixie was just a joy. It is my favourite bike, I have to say. Just so much fun; it accelerates like nothing else as I leave cars behind me when the lights change. And I was a god in the Tour du Pont d’Anzac; my competitors were left floundering, still struggling to clear the spiral ramp as I breached the apex of the bridge (remaining, of course, mindful of pedestrians unaware of the unfolding sporting drama around them).

The cool weather is great too; as the cold air flows over your hot muscles you just feel glad to be alive, your body tingling with the electric thrill of the ride. I shot up the final hill, turned into my street and screeched to a halt at the front gate. Was I in time? Quickly I wheeled the bike into the shed, and went into the house.

I was in time! There was my daughter, in the arms of Mrs Chillikebab. As I entered, she gave me a glorious gummy ‘welcome home Daddy’ smile. Thanks to the trusty fixie, I had got home in time to give Baby Chillikebab  her bath!

However, there was no time to lose; she was getting tired and bedtime was looming! Without bothering to change, I got her a nice warm bath ready. A quick cuddle with Baby Chillikebab, and then into the bathroom for funtime bathtime.

I lowered my daughter into the water, expecting the usual gurgly splashy smiles. But something was wrong! Baby Chillikebab stared at me in horror as she went into the water, before breaking into inconsolable wails! What had happened? Mrs Chillikebab came in, and felt the water. ‘It’s really cold!’ she said.

Oh no. My hands and arms were still very cold from my ride home. What had felt nice and warm to my chilly fingers was no more than tepid to a baby taken from the cosy embrace of its mother’s arms. I attempted to console Baby Chillikebab by wrapping her in a warm towel while the water temperature was adjusted, but it was too late. The spell was broken, and bathtime funtime became a succession of indignant screams which did not abate until Baby Chillikebab was clean, dry, warm, dressed and back in Mrs Chillikebab’s arms.

As a result of this experience I have added this to my list of cycling rules:
#253: If you are going to be giving a baby a bath shortly after riding in cool weather, wear full-fingered gloves.

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