The Dulcet Tones of the Balaclava

Until recently I would have guessed that a “balaclava” was some sort of Russian stringed instrument. Turns out, it is a kind of mask that keeps your head and face warm while engaged in cold-weather outdoor activities. What with the sudden drop in temperature and winter rapidly approaching, I thought it might be a worthy topic for this, my very first MetroBlogging post.

With the so-called CTA “Doomsday” approaching (again), it behooves us all to look into alternative modes of travel. My plan? Bike riding. I ride all over the city during warm weather, but I usually put my bike in storage during the winter. But not this year. I found this website on a sticker somebody slapped on a bike rack in Edgewater. It’s got tons of information, from clothing to maintenance and repair, to prepare you for bike riding through the heart of a Chicago winter. Turns out the biggest concern (aside from maybe losing fingers to frostbite) is salt. Go figure.

So, if you are headed up Lincoln Avenue this winter and pass a big heavy guy sweating through his polar fleece as he pedals against the North Wind, please give me a wide berth. Thanks!

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