Cold Weather Disguises

The other day I was biking home and a cyclist waved at me.

Cold Weather Disguises

Now, biking in Boston sometimes has the feeling of a biking in a small town. I’m always running into friends on the street. But in cold weather there are some social challenges.

Cold Weather Disguises

And I may not even recognize my best friends unless they are willing to unbundle a bit. Not always pleasant this time of year.

Cold Weather Disguises

So it got me wondering if there’s a better way.

Cold Weather Disguises

Maybe not. I may not recognize my friends until spring, my apologies.

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  • Opus the Poet February 26, 2013   Reply →

    I posted a picture of what I wear in winter on my blog. Doesn’t help, the people that ride around here don’t read my blog any more since they have long since gotten the useful information from it.

  • Tim D. February 26, 2013   Reply →

    I wave at all cyclIsts whether I know them or not. On our narrow, winding, one-lane roads here in Humboldt I wave at motorists too. They almost always seem to give me a little more room, slow down a bit, smile, and wave back. Try it; you just might be surprised at how much more pleasant your commute can be.

  • Gary Parr February 26, 2013   Reply →

    Thanks for a moment of humor to start the day. Semaphore definitely not the way to go.

  • Jonathan Krall February 26, 2013   Reply →

    Very fun! I even have trouble recognizing people in warm weather bicycle gear (helmet and sunglasses).

  • John Murphy February 26, 2013   Reply →

    EZ answer. Move to California.

  • Steve R. February 26, 2013   Reply →

    Easy. Many of the people I know have distinctive bikes so, I recognize them by their bikes.

  • cris February 26, 2013   Reply →

    In winter, the clothing changes, but the bikes stay the same. So, for the handful of fellow commuters that I see regularly on my way in, we still make our nods and ding our bells despite the numerous measures we’ve taken to protect our noses, eyes and fingers because we still recognize so-and-so with the Christmas tree taillights or the half-disintegrated clip-on fender or the Carradice saddlebag that’s probably seen more miles than most people’s bikes.

    • cranky pants February 27, 2013  

      this is Boston – a cordial “eff-you, you eff-ing d-bag” coupled with a stream of rude gestures will suffice. It’s just our way of showing affection.

  • RayJ February 26, 2013   Reply →

    Admittedly, working as a mechanic I recognize bikes over faces. I have had customers greet me on the street and won’t remember/recognize them until I see their ride.

  • Lisa Liberati February 26, 2013   Reply →

    I’m with Tim D. I wave and say ” hi” to everyone. We don’t have to bundle up so much in LA, but this was terrific!

  • Louie February 26, 2013   Reply →

    I like the painted balaclava idea.

    • Opus the Poet February 26, 2013  

      I painted a flaming goatee and moustache on my winter face mask. You can see it in the Mardi Gras pictures on my blog.

    • Peanut Butter February 27, 2013  

      I have a ZanHeadgear balaclava – everyone recognizes my Luchador mask!

  • Invisible Visible Man February 26, 2013   Reply →

    I struggle even when people are in more normal bike clothes. A staff member from my local bike shop was out in lycra and a helmet one day and shouted a cheery greeting to me. I gave him a blank look and only realized after he’d gone who he was.

  • Garryw February 27, 2013   Reply →

    That semaphore stunt was great, I needed a good laugh. Thanks for your wonderful work.

  • bike pixi February 27, 2013   Reply →

    Couriers can recognise each others by the way someone rides, how they move their body while on the bike even when buried under lots of layers. We also gossip a lot and if you don’t know who someone is talking about you ask what bike they ride.

  • Brian Stephens February 27, 2013   Reply →

    Those are all great potential solutions. I’m not sure which one I like the best…maybe the jersey numbers. But then you would need a system for who gets what number, and so on.

    Ah, just wait for spring, much easier.

  • Angelo Dolce February 27, 2013   Reply →

    I’m impressed with the alternate identification methods too – I think the portraits on the balaclava is as impressive as the semaphore idea, even if they don’t become popular.

  • focus503 March 4, 2013   Reply →

    I recognize bikes.

  • KillMoto December 17, 2013   Reply →

    There’s a stretch of road where I overtake a friend about once or twice a month. The other day I saw a man looks just like him – same helmet, jacket, fenders, back pack. Said to myself “can’t be him… his cadence is not right!” Sure enough when we stopped at the next light, it was a look-alike.

  • Jim October 9, 2014   Reply →

    Custom painted helmets like race drivers have.

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