Which Do You Need More: Fingers or Coffee?

“Let’s go biking!”

I look at Hannah like she’s crazy. “It’s 20 degrees outside.”

“So? I’ll buy you coffee!”

I deliberate for a moment, but she definitely has me. I’ll do anything for free coffee. “Fine.”

The sky is bright and the sun looks warm and inviting, but the outdoors is deceptive. The cold hits me like a wall of death, freezing my nose off and turning my fingers into icicles. Even sitting on my bike seat feels cold and painful.

“Why are we doing this?” I ask, but start to laugh when Hannah gives me that look—the one that says “we’re crazy but it’ll be worth it in the end.”

“We already biked in the summer and the fall,” she says, “we need to bike in the winter too!”

Whatever the logic, it doesn’t take long for me to realize I should’ve worn gloves. We bike down West University street toward downtown, our speed generating a freezing cold wind that slaps us in the face. My fingers are so cold they’re having trouble squeezing the brakes.

We pass Twin Springs Park, stopping every 3 minutes so I can warm my fingers up in my armpits. It’s so cold that the fountains in Sager Creek are frozen over, leaving only a thin stream of water curving up.

We don’t go far before circling back around to Cafe on Broadway to ward off frostbite. Once inside, we are immediately covered by a warmth that works its way into our bones and unlocks our fingers.

Two vanilla lattes later and we’re back outside, biking the quaint streets of downtown in defiance of the cold winter and looking forward to the hot showers that await us upon our return.

Was it worth it in the end? I’ll let you be the judge.

About the author

Valerie McArthur

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