Hey Mother Nature! Stop teasing us and stay Fall already!

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

changingroomI’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.

9 replies
  1. LisaB
    LisaB says:

    Yeah, Mother Nature’s on my s*&% list. When I started my training for the NYC Marathon back in June, I persevered through unrelenting heat and humidity with the promise that October would bring slightly cooler temps.

    Two days. Big deal.

    Forecast for marathon day is a high of 55 degrees. Colleagues have said: “Aren’t you going to freeze to death?”, “Will you wear a jacket?” “Is it uncomfortable to run in long pants?”

    For the record, I’m running in shorts, a short sleeve shirt and a visor. I have visions of finishing the race without sweat running down my legs and pooling up in my shoes. And, no, I won’t freeze to death. 🙂

    Let’s hope this latest heat wave is it for the season. Come next week, I start commuting to work in earnest. It sure would be nice if I didn’t arrive looking like I got caught in a rain storm!

  2. andrewp
    andrewp says:

    The bad part about fall is the fronts that bring winds …. some days it fells like I’m pedalling with a hand in my chest pushing me backwards. But it will still be nice to not be in a lather when getting to work or getting home.

    A little later we get to the point where we have to wear layers of clothes into work (cold!) and take some off when riding home.

    And I think on Sunday we have a time change where we set the clocks back an hour. Which means for me a commute home in the dark. So better have your lights ready!!!

  3. bencott
    bencott says:

    i’m tired of it too. today i took the car to work because i just didn’t want to deal with 98% humidity. the forecast calls for temps to fall much closer to average next week though, so i’m hopeful.

  4. Angie
    Angie says:

    We’re on the same wavelength! I’ve been perusing http://ridingpretty.blogspot.com/, secretly wishing for a tweed helmet cover! But then I had to come to the terms with the fact that a) I could not pull that look off and b) I would be able to use it for about 6 days in the whole year. ;p Ahh, Florida.

  5. Fred Oswald
    Fred Oswald says:

    It gets hot in Ohio too. I once had to give a presentation about a mile away from my office. Tho only a mile, I had to go through a steep ravine to get there. I’d allowed time to cool down but the meeting was running ahead of schedule — so had to quickly put on coat & tie and give my talk.

    Now the weather’s cool but it rained today. Unfortunately, I wore cotton socks and did not bring a change.

    So long as the roads are not slippery, I ride through the winter. It can be fun to tell co-workers how hot I get on a nice brisk winter day.

    • Eric
      Eric says:

      “It gets hot in Ohio too.”

      Is it hot there now?

      Yes it does get hot in Ohio, but as I explained here a couple of months ago when we still had the heat, “not 7 months of the year.”

      It started hitting over 90 here in March and it still is. Let’s count them up (for the deniers):
      March, May, June, July, August, September, October.

      How many months is that?

      Ah well. Blame it on El Nino.

      • Keri
        Keri says:

        I used to be able to deal with it until mid June… seemed like there were breaks, it was less humid, maybe cooler in the mornings and evenings. This year seemed to get brutal by the first of May. I honestly don’t know if it’s hotter longer now, or if my body just can’t tolerate it anymore.

        I’m not sure if I have another summer in me. I might have to become migratory.

  6. Dottie
    Dottie says:

    I feel for you. I hate being sweaty and that’s one reason I was happy to move away from the South (NC). Living in Florida would be very hard for me – give me snow any day. Of course, I might feel differently in a couple of months!

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