October used to be my favorite time of year in Florida. What changed? Has this year been unusually hot and humid or is it just me?
It was a little after 9 AM when I began to write this post. Weather.com said it was 76° and 91% humidity. It’s not raining. It’s now 78° and 88% humidity.
Seventy-six degrees seems like a pleasant temperature, doesn’t it? It’s all relative to the humidity. If I were to ride down to the bank (just under a mile) and back. The air would feel cool as I rolled out, but by the time I stopped at the first traffic light, my skin would be coated in a film of perspiration that can’t evaporate. As I locked my bike in front of the bank, I’d be in a full-on sweat with rivers running down my body. I’d continue to sweat for the few minutes I’d be inside the bank. It would feel cool again as I started rolling toward home.
When I got home, my soaking wet clothes would be headed to the laundry and I would be headed to the shower. If I had someplace else to go later, I’d go through yet another set of clothes and need another shower. The upside is, it forces me to be more organized and consolidate my missions. The downside is, it puts a constraint on an otherwise freeing activity.
Why am I complaining about this now? Because I put up with this all summer. And it’s almost #@$% November and we’ve had about 5 days of pleasant temperatures with low humidity. And I’m cranky.
I wander the internet and see all these beautiful photos of colorful leaves and sharply-dressed women in business clothes on bicycles. I want that. This is the time of year I’m usually happy to be in Florida. This year I want to move. I’ll take the cold, the snow, whatever. I just don’t want to sweat anymore!
I suspect I’ll change my mind when it’s finally winter, though.
The reality of Florida
I’ll be headed out to the BPAC meeting this afternoon. It will be 89° (“feels like 92”). I’ll be wearing light cycling clothes and carrying my meeting clothes. I will ride the 2.8 miles at a very casual pace. I’ll leave an extra 15 minutes so I can stop sweating (with the help of Seabreeze) as my body continues desperately to cool itself, dry off and change clothes in a public restroom. Doesn’t that sound romantic?
There’s a lot we can do to improve things for cyclists here: civility, connectivity, secure parking and good transit options. But there’s an undeniable reality that for much of the year, the average person is not going to be interested in the above routine. And it’s a show-stopper for most business people who don’t have a shower facility at work, or who need to leave the office for meetings during the day.
There’s no way around it. I once attempted to wear light-weight business clothes to a client meeting on a 70° morning. The result was not pretty. But I’m an artist, so I’m allowed to be eccentric.
Anyway, I hope our friends above the 31st parallel will forgive our exuberance come January. We will have paid dearly for our Florida winter.
The snowbirds have the right idea.