Thursday has quickly become my day to head northward and ride the trails at Hanson (not to be confused with Hanson). It has also become my day to ride with my friend Napper. He co-owns the shop I frequent, and I have no f*cking job, so his work schedule is flexible and mine is non-existent. Thus our partnership in this Thursday (thankfully non-sexual) affair.
We had planned on heading south-west towards 1,2,3, (Grand) Repeater (Rapids) to ride, but blowing snow the other day had post-grooming reports looking less than stellar. So, we once again headed north to ride, hoping that yesterday’s grooming efforts had not been snowed on.
Well, they were snowed on, but that didn’t stop us from continuing on. I mean, we weren’t exactly plowing through FEET of snow, it was a few extra inches and we’re both big dudes on bigger bikes just looking to get a ride, ANY ride in.
As we headed towards the ski area we passed a bank clock giving the temperature. It said 1˚… f*cking brilliant. Hey, at least it was sunny!
While one degree is not a temperature that I would have ever thought about
riding in suffering through in the past, it is in my present. And if I didn’t suck it up (meaning buy the proper shit to ride in) and ride, I wouldn’t ride for half the year here in the mythical, Arctic sub-culture I call Michiganderburgh. So we layered up, rode and pumped out a shit ton of sweat.
Despite yesterday’s fresh groom getting snowed on, most of the trails hooked up pretty well. Well, all except for the bastard of a climb seen directly above. I have attempted this climb eight times now and have made it exactly once. ONCE! In dry conditions, I have no doubt that I would climb it with little issue, probably in my big ring. In the winter… not so much.
I never really thought I could get so hot and sweaty riding in 1˚ temps but it turns out I can. Since today is Thursday (as in Throw Back Thursday) I decided to end this post by going old school with a cycling selfie, not to be confused with the new standard in cycling blog photography– my bike leaning up against shit.
Drink it all in… snot, snow, ice, sweat, flabby ruddy cheeks, scars, chapped lips, wrinkles, nose hair, clogged pores, furry eyebrows, gaping nostrils, mouth breathing, razor stubble and a look that says “Jesus H. Christ, I am a worthless turd of a cyclist/man.” I will say I find the balaclava quite slimming to my sagging jowls, I may wear one more often.
Even with a ride time temperature of one and trails that weren’t exactly perfect, it was cool to spend another Thursday morning riding with a friend. A sweat was had, the stank was blown off me and calories were burned. And as Napper said,”it beats spending a day in prison.” A statement that I am choosing to believe is based on a general belief rather than personal experience.
Oh well, we had fun. Well, fun enough for a February ride in one degree temperatures.