In early December, 35 degrees seems too cold and treacherous to take the motorcycle to work. In late January, three degrees above freezing seems warm enough to go on a criss-crossing jaunt through Dorchester and a little farther beyond. Cabin fever leads a man to do things that would have been unpleasant seven weeks before. Now they are refreshing.
I've been noticing that since the last snowstorm the streets seem to be hazard-free and, having been acclimated to sub-zero temperatures, the thermometer told me I might be able to enjoy myself. I didn't don my summer gear. I wore fleece long underwear and two windproof layers around my torso. Most of my outfit was courtesy of Aerostitch, a company that seeks to outfit the motorcyclist with the best, if not the least expensive, kit he or she can sport. You get what you pay for. Had I outfitted myself at Family Dollar, I would have resembled the Michelin Man. I put all the armored padding into the appropriate places and started up my little Ninja motorcycle.
The engine wasn't happy and I kept the choke out for the first ten minutes until both the bike and I agreed there was no turning back. After that point we were both as content as playful kittens happy to exercise our muscles.
In warmer weather, I carp about traffic congestion and kvetch about the sorry state of the roads. Not in January, though. I was happy to be out and about. With extra attention to the roads' surfaces for stray patches of ice and slush, and extra attention to cars who probably don't expect to see a little Ninja speeding down Dot Ave, let alone side streets, I made my way hither and yon. I wove from Savin Hill to Fields Corner, then up Park Street to Codman Square. I gamboled on Codman Hill which is a neighborhood that is usually as dull and repetative as West Roxbury or the high, terraced hills behind Roslindale, or the flatlands of Hyde Park. No matter. I was out and about on my motorcycle. It was good to be free.
When I left the house, my companion said she would see me in a half hour. I pulled back into my berth three hours later. "Where did you go?" she asked.
"Everywhere," I answered. "I was in Lower Mills. I was in Mattapan. I was at Norfolk Point. I was in Codman and Adams Village and Morton Village. I took Blue Hill Avenue all the way from the tail end of Boston to Magazine Street and after that I circled around and around in Newmarket Square, just enjoying be able to go around and around."
More frigid weather is projected for tomorrow. At least I got one day to live like it is summer again. It's all what you make it.