My feet are humming. They’ve been like this all day. Tingling, buzzing, a low-level vibrating. Call it a circulatory hangover from this morning’s bender of a frigid bike commute. For me, this thrumming sensation in my toes is a surefire sign that winter cycling season is upon us.
I’ve got sensitive toes. I can’t help it, and it’s got nothing to do with being diabetic. As Lady Gaga would say, I was born this way. Val teases me for wearing my booties on late August rides, when the mornings start to get a little coolish. For most cyclists, a thick pair of socks does the trick, but for me, it’s wool socks, shoe covers, and maybe even some chemical warmers. And that’s long before the snow flies.
When true winter hits, though, like it did here this week, with its scrotum-tightening cold, I wear full-on winter boots for my commute. I just got these Kamiks the other day, rated to -40 degrees C, or so the tag proclaims. Such ratings, however, don’t mean much to a fella like me. Even in these boots, my feet get chilled after about 15 minutes of my 30 minute commute. Not cold, exactly, just a bit tingly. It’s this same feeling that’s been lingering throughout the work day.
I’m not complaining about my buzzing toes. Quite the opposite, in fact. The sensation is pleasingly, reassuringly, seasonal, one of those cyclical, physiological phenomena—like the shivery sensation of the breeze on one’s legs that first day of shorts-wearing in spring. You forget about it every year until it happens all over again.
My toes are humming, and it’s a happy tune.