I was motivated to ride, I swear I was. I was up at 8 AM Saturday and dumping coffee down my throat as I watched FA Crap footy and waited for the temps to rise. The thing is, they never did.
It was -2˚ when I woke up. It was -1˚ an hour or so later, and around 11 AM it was 0˚. I have a lot of respect for riders who ride and race in the winter cold, especially ones that compete in ultra events like Tuscobia or the Fat Pursuit, but I am very much not those riders.
With the weather type persons predicting temps in the mid-twenties on Sunday, I figured there was no reason to venture out on the newly retrieved Fatterson in single digit temps, even if the sun was shining and the sky was a perfect blue.
So I retreated to the trainer in the Not-So-Stankment with a playlist full of Royal Blood, a belly full of muffin pan eggs, and veins coursing with caffeine, to bust out a sweaty 45 minutes of pedaling nowhere fast.
As indoor pedaling goes, this was one of my better workouts of late and I think I have to give credit to some of what I’ve learned from running intervals on the dreadmill; in the past, a combination of complacency (mindless pedaling) and too much easy pedaling betweenst hard efforts had me failing to get my heart rate (max and average) into ranges similar to what I achieve during outdoor efforts. Lesson learned, sweat had, done. Now to look forward to an actual ride on Sunday.
When I got up Sunday morning to watch more FA Crap footy, the temps were already warmer than they had been at any time on Saturday— 12˚ and rising!
I decided to avoid studs on pavement and drive to the launching pad south of town to start the ride. As I drove I was a little concerned with the wind that was blowing steadily from the south-west. Wind is hard enough to ride into when it’s 70˚ let alone when it’s a balmy 18˚! Whatever, I’m sure I’ll survive.
Once parked I hurriedly got ready before I could change my mind, grabbed the Fatterson out of the back of the Escape and snap I tweaked my back! FUCK!!
A painful spasm shot through my back and I was left briefly froze, not wanted to move for fear of making it worse. I slowly started to move and it seemed to subside, so I pedaled on, hoping that it would not return.
Soon I was heading uphill and into the wind, giving it every once of fat boy power to go 5 MPH. “Well, this was a fucking stupid idea!” I thought and contemplated turning my ass right around and going home. Instead, I pedaled on, hoping to feel better once out of the constant headwind.
I hadn’t even gone a mile yet and I was working up a sweat, panting like a creepy ice cream salesman on a busy playground, and cussing like a sailor. Good times.
I eventually settled in well enough and pedaled on, setting small goals for myself to keep myself going.
I stopped for photos here and there, scared the shit out of some horses with my Jedi meets cyclist, meets snowboarder outfit and made the best of actually pedaling my bike outside.
The roads were not nearly as bad as I expected and at times the Fatterson was overkill. I would have been more efficient on the PrOcal with 2.3 tires than the Fatterson with 4″ studded tires which I mistakenly underinflated to 6 PSI when the packed snow and frozen dirt would have been better dealt with by running 12 or more; lesson learned. I expected way more rutted ice and snow but what I got was long stretches of hard, hard frozen dirt and hard packed snow. The studs were called into action a few times, but for the most part I was just wasting energy I didn’t have.
I wasted a lot of time taking photos, and that combined with the constant wind and low tire pressure on heavy bike straddled by an even heavier rider meant that a 2-hour ride only saw me logging 16.9 miles.
Having said that I was BEAT, soaked with sweat, and super happy that Wifey offered to take B to his late afternoon soccer practice so I could recuperate with a few hoppy beverages in front of the fireplace.
Happy to have done something outside, even if my performance was pretty shit. Also happy that my back didn’t seize up again, and happy to take some photos of something other than birds at the feeder.