Make no mistake about it, I hate winter. I hate the grey skies, the ice, slush, snow and cold, damn I hate the cold! And don’t even get me started on the ball suck holidays like Christmas and New Years that are thrown into the winter mix; I hate it all. BUT, winter is indeed here and the snow that has been coming down the past couple of days was a sure indication of that. When I woke up this morning and saw that snow that was covering the roads and ground I thought today just might be perfect for getting out on the dirt roads for a ride. I was only half right, which is only slightly better than being half wrong.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s ALWAYS a good day to be riding a bike, and after taking Saturday off to avoid the hail of stray bullets that always accompanies opening day of Michiganderburgh’s rifle deer season I was super eager to get out for a ride today, I mean running on the treadmill can only do so much for you. The bad part was that while it was cold and we did indeed get snow, it was not the sort of cold and snow that makes for good riding. By (my) ride time, the temperatures were hovering at freezing and what snow we got was pretty wet. My (bulging) gut told me that I should NOT venture out on the dirt roads today, but my (feeble) mind told me that a ride was just what I needed. With my mind and gut having a battle royal, I thought I should do whatever I needed to do to before my heart and my penis started putting their two cents in and decided that the only way to embrace the onset of winter was by riding right out into the middle of it, getting cold, wet and hungry enough to make having one to twelve beers and 96 oz. of homemade chili taste all that much better later.
So that’s what I did. It sucked, it rocked, it was OK, it was just what I needed. The worst of the ride as the paved section before the dirt roads. They were slushy and wet and because I don’t have a fender that fits the Farely it was shooting ice-cold water up my ass and flash freezing my lower intestines.
Once I hit the dirt roads, or the “snirt roads” (snow-covered dirt roads) the ride got much better. Well, at least for a bit. The snow pack on the dirt roads was short-lived and before I knew it, I was pedaling though a shit ton of spattering, gobsmacking ice-cold mud.
I feared what all the gritty mud and water was doing to my drivetrain, but also realized that if I let those fears get the best of me, my bikes wouldn’t see daylight from October to May. Despite the wet roads that splattered me early in the ride and the mud that the dirt roads were dishing out, I was surprisingly warm, my new Lake winter boots continue to impress and kept my feet dry and warm throughout the ride and my hands were fine after their standard initial fifteen minutes of numbness.
I semi-happily rambled along–mostly on dirt roads–passing snow crusted corn fields, cows braving the cold for lunch and multiple trucks parked along the roads while their owners were out in a tree stand somewhere. Surprisingly I saw only one vehicle with a dead buck strapped to it. As is typical of my winter rides, I wasn’t out long and rode for just over an hour and a half, but that hour and half helped me add some time onto a week in which I thought my time spent “doing stuff” would be drastically reduced. As it was I ended up with seven hours or riding and running in this week. It wasn’t quite last week, but it’ll do as I continue my efforts to be the fittest fat man I can.