runny nose commuting and office culture

One of the challenges of winter biking is arriving at destinations such as work or social events in a way that is presentable and comfortable. Layering clothes is important, of course. But there are other considerations as well.

This winter, I had contract work traveling around the city between classes on my bike. I was a teacher, so I would arrive in class in a formal wool coat, galoshes and dress pants – dress shoes tucked inside.

But one thing I hadn’t thought of was my nose. See, in the winter, you are outside biking and breathing in -10 degree air before arriving in a warm office building. This causes your nose to run each time you enter a warm place from your bike. So working on hourly contracts, I kept arriving to class with a runny nose and sneezing – perfectly normal after cycling in sub-zero weather, but a bit uncomfortable on a daily/hourly basis.

Still, this isn’t exactly life threatening. If you read the wiki article, the suggested remedy is to blow your nose or use saline solutions for a few days. It usually goes away on its own.

Though the sting felt from the confused stares of drivers remains long after.


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