Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Double digits still

Having such a warm fall/ winter hasn't let me acclimate as I normally would to chilling temperatures,  so now, in January to land in the middle of a  not unseasonable 10 degree morning, feels colder than usual.

Wool tights, layered under normal ones,  thin wool socks on top of that.  Normal dress boots,  a lined denim dress (from the Boden clearance sale),  a wool sweater,  a wool coat,  "liner" gloves (from the dollar store), puffy gloves,  ear pod things,  scarf, and helmet.

I'm really careful in cold weather to put lots of moisturizer on to keep my face from getting chapped and wind burned.  By the time I got to work the piece of scarf that I had over my mouth had gotten damp from my breath, and then frozen stiff.  But I was even a bit too warm- probably could have skipped the wool sweater.  My hands were fine,  my toes were a bit cold, but not uncomfortably so.  I took off the extra tights and socks for the day.

Probably worth a separate post, but I've been struggling for a week or so with what to say to Policemen behaving badly.   I've posted several times about my generally high opinion of Cambridge's finest,  but every day for the last week or so, there has been a detail cop at an area narrowed by a construction crane.  This cop, who likely is not actually from Cambridge, but an off duty guy from elsewhere making extra money on the side doing traffic detail*  likes to stand in the middle of the bike lane while chatting to another cop on the sidewalk.    I'm not sure whether to ask him politely if he could stand on the sidewalk?  I'm not sure if I should complain to the construction company that hired him?  I don't think it would do any good to complain to the city.

I'm afraid that if I ask him,  even nicely,  that he'll get hostile, and I'll have to deal with his hostility every day for the rest of his construction.   Normally it would be no big deal to just go around him and roll my eyes,  but because of the crane on the other side of the road,  the area is already narrowed down, and there's always traffic I have to merge into.  I've rung my bell,  nicely,  just so that I don't startle him or (hopefully) to keep him from stepping out in front of me.   What to do when the authority figures are the ones causing the problem?

* lots of controversy over this in MA -where until recently civilian flaggers were not allowed- for you out of town readers.


  1. My face is incredibly red today, I've been running low on moisturiser. :/

  2. Two points:

    ONE - Great wisdom lies below the surface about rapidity of the season change.

    TWO - Wise lady never provokes any LEO into "contact" mode...

  3. I ride past the same officer every day, and don't ever say anything to him although it annoys me. I do ride very close to him and hope one day this jars him into remembering that he is standing in the road.

  4. This is my first year riding through the winter, and I’ve gotten windburn on my face the last two times I’ve gone out for our local Slow & Steady Ride (about 12 -15 miles, in the low 30s). Do you use a special extra thick moisturizer when you know you’re riding, or just more of your everyday moisturizer? And do you have any other tips? I wore a balaclava last time, but the little bit of exposed skin still turned red and dry!

  5. @mel
    I just use a bit more of my usual moisturizer, but I do put on an extra layer of blistex over my lipstick

    @Steve and Richard- it's really too bad. It shouldn't be that way, but unfortunately I can't imagine a scenario where that conversation goes well.

  6. We do't have bike lanes, but a lot of road work with cops in the middle of the street directig traffic. They are in the middle of the street on purpose though b/c they have to stop one flow to allow the other to pass. B/c I ride literally within handshaking distance I always say a loud "Good Morning". Some officers smile and say it back. Some stare at me. Most are kind though. And luckily the one's who stare get the Tuber Treatment which is to wave at every officer he sees and then they often soften up toward him.

    So yes I would not confront this guy. But I would try a hearty Good Morning every day and perhaps he will begin to "see" you and maybe get out of the way when he sees you and then maybe other cyclists? I dunno

    ( yay yakkay. Do you like it?)

  7. "What to do when the authority figures are the ones causing the problem?"

    Now that's a deep question. I could chew on that one for years. Maybe it's just my recent foray into hip-hop and certain related issues has me thinking about that lately anyway.

    In this case, I agree with MamaVee, maybe just try a loud "hello" or "excuse me" in a more-or-less nice tone, nothing too confrontational.

    I never would have thought of this problem, Portland always has civilian flaggers, I'm not sure I've ever seen police hanging out at a construction site.

  8. Portlandize- Civilian flaggers is a hot issue here. Until very recently police were legally required- you couldn't have civilian flaggers, or if you could it was only with police "supervision" Since the hourly rate of a policeman is a lot more than a CF, it adds a lot of cost to projects, for what is essentially standing around for hours, and is a nice extra paycheck for the police officer- the actual "need" for a policeman seems dubious at best. The current governor pushed through a reform to allow CF but the powerful policemans' unions are now out for his blood- you see lots of pretty aggressive bumperstickers put out by the policemens' union. I still haven't seen any civillian flaggers- don't know if contractors are afraid of harassment, or if there's some delay or challenge to the law, but it seems rotten, and not something I want to get into with the guy standing in my bike lane. sigh

  9. More info- including reports of police harassing CF's. You can see in the photo that the detail cop is hard at work- texting his buddies, or checking sports scores.

  10. No kidding, especially when the guy standing in your bike lane has a gun, and probably could do a fair amount of intimidation and get away with it.

    As if we all needed more reasons not to trust the police... weren't they supposed to be protecting civilians, not harassing them?