Last week was a strange beast indeed; one day I was riding snow and ice-covered roads in 25˚ temps, the next day it was 50˚ and I was watching debris fly by my kitchen window as winds gusted from 20 to 50 MPH. The next two days I was riding my bike on snow free roads with a grin on my face. Well, at least on Sunday I was grinning, because for nearly half of Saturday’s ride I seemed to be pedaling directly into constant headwind thinking that I should have just stayed at home watching crap FA Cup footy instead of riding.
When I woke up Saturday and sat in the kitchen eating my new “go to” breakfast (fried egg whites and avocado toast) I remarked to a less than interested B-Man on how I really wanted to ride, but just had NO interest in riding into that wind. The winds were less than the day before, but still blowing steady. B replied with some courtesy support of some sort and I continued on basking in the (good) fatty love that is avocado toast. Thirty minutes, two cups of coffee, and three dumps later I found the interest to ride in said wind and went about finding my gear which included the appearance of the Boone cross bike and some knee warmers for the first time in a while. The reprieve from the girth of the Fatterson and excess clothing was much well appreciated. Well, at least until I looked down and saw that I was struggling to get up to double-digit speeds going into that headwind.
With my speed one step above a brisk mall walker I found a few opportunities to stop and shoot a pic or two. Nothing great came from either day of shooting, but just like my crap riding–at least I was doing something.
The great thing about pedaling 12 miles into a strong head westerly wind, is that at some point you will get a strong easterly tail wind, and Saturday’s ride didn’t disappoint. At one point pedaling out of Beal City I managed to get the Boone going over 30 MPH on a pancake flat section of road; on a cross bike with 40c tires. There’s is nothing like a strong tail wind to make someone my size feel like cycling god.
Despite colder temps, Sunday’s ride proved to be much, MUCH better. I did the same loop in reverse and was able to throw in a section or two of dirt roads that were in bad shape, but still way better than they were the previous day. The key is to pick your line and stay there.
The temporary, spring-like melt revealed upwards of 12 or more vodka bottles along the roads over the weekend; I guess the mid-Michigan winter must have been a 12 bottle sort of winter. With several inches of new wet snow and strong winds on their way later this week I have the feeling that some big livered litter bug’s the bottle count for the winter will be increasing rapidly.
The two-day reprieve from fat bike riding, snow, and ice was great. Now I’m looking forward to spring even more. But first there’s more
shit snow to deal with.