Daylight is scarce these days and I’m usually at my desk before sunrise. Such is life close to the 48th parallel. I expected my commute to be chilly but dry and I dressed accordingly. I arrived as expected and felt terrific. I plucked the expensive electronics off my bike and locked it up.
In no time I was making my way to the showers carrying my shower supplies and work clothes, my bike shoes clomping on the hard floor. The space I will call a locker room for the sake of this story was one hundred percent empty this morning. In June there are ten guys in there at this time of day. Today it was all mine.
Following a routine that has become rote I soon stepped into the shower and swung the handle to ten o’clock. There have been a couple times when I had to wait two or three minutes for the hot water to make it to the shower head from god-knows-where. I was glad when it warmed up quickly.
While I lack comprehensive data to prove my point, I am confident that in the winter my showers at work are a little warmer and last a little longer than in the summer. It is a brief moment to dwell on the good work of an hour plus of riding before work and think about the day ahead whilst I enjoy the warm water on my oft chilled toes.
I settled in and got straight to work getting Davo cleaned and lubed when I noticed the water didn’t feel as warm as it had a moment earlier. I turned the handle to eleven o’clock which is as warm as it gets and it didn’t get much warmer. In fact, it kept on getting colder.
I am typically slow to accept change but the temperature of the water dictated prompt action.
With the urgency of a five year old boy that has to pee I hastened to finish as fast as I could. Soap suds were flying in the shower stall and I was rinsing and spinning and writhing as the water grew colder and colder. With no forethought I heard myself utter a hushed profanity.
Finally I shut it off with a definitive twist and grabbed my towel like it was a lifeline. I squeezed it in my hands as if I could somehow pump heat into it. The room wasn’t particularly warm and the water on my body was cold. I dried off as quickly as I could and got dressed like I was in a race.
Soon I was at my desk and seeking to find warmth through coffee consumption. A few dozen ounces later I was still cold. I dug my emergency sweater out of my drawer and by about two in the afternoon I was finally warm.
I don’t know if I have become a wimp (perhaps I have always been a wimp and I just didn’t know it) or if I just forgot what cold feels like but this was the third time this season I’ve found myself cold and almost indignant about the discomfort. The first was on 5130 with DG and the second was on a coffee and lies ride two weeks ago and today was numero tres.
You can’t apply Rule #9 when it is in the shower.