Small thing: winter is approaching. Or at least, it was in the low 30s last week.

Now, you might be thinking, “Danny, you were just living on a glacier [i.e., North Wisconsin] and this is nothing! You survived single digit days and biked on frozen lakes!”

That’s true, that’s true. But it was a warm summer, I’m out of practice, and also a baby.

So the story goes that I go out for a beer after work last Friday — which had started off in the mid-40’s and got progressively colder as the day went on — because, you know, friendship. I don’t know, my buddy’s got a sweet new Disc Trucker and he likes beer and we’ve been having this ongoing discussion about whether or not my next bike (that I can’t afford anyway, so this is all theoretical) will be another Surly, and since everybody who closed on Friday (except little Andrew, who is actually very tall but is not “Big Andrew,” but who had to go to NH and not have fun with us) lives in basically the same direction, we all rode home from the shop together.

We ditched the high schooler once we got to the brewery, but he wanted to go build some fancy new bike he’s been putting together piece by piece anyway. Bike nerds. Also must be nice not to have to pay for rent or for food. I don’t miss AP classes, though. And I can drink beer, which is cool, too.

So anyway, we get to the brewery, which is frightfully packed, but have a good time all the same and snag a table. We meet up with one of my buddy’s old bike-touring friends, a very nice young woman who works as a recruiter at a marketing company (noted, noted, I will need a real job again some day), and then some other of his friends showed up after a while. It was a nice time.

But then I had to leave. And it was cold outside.

And here’s the thing, my commute home from bike shop #2 is about 10 miles, and the brewery was only like 2-3 miles in to this, and I had a couple of beers on an empty stomach and that, combined with the cold (~29°F) and not inconsiderable wind (I don’t know… it was windy, k?), combined with my still somewhat lacking commuter clothing setup (I did have my lobster gloves though, so thanks Wisconsin, for prompting that particular purchase), combined with the general weariness that comes at the end of a long day, well, I thought I was going to die.

I didn’t, but I thought I was going to.

Anyway, the point is that late-fall commutes seem to be upon us. At least I’ve finally got fenders. And folks to go have beers with after work. And a job or two. And I get to ride bikes.

You know what, it could be worse.