Almost Warm


Spring in Michigan means that even when there’s no snow, sleet, or freezing rain, ride time often greets you with 32˚ temps and a crisp 10+ MPH wind coming out of the north/west. With a heavy sigh into the vat of coffee raised to my rotund face, I reluctantly made my way up to the Chamber of Farts™ to strap myself into Part 1 of my winter riding gear (spring ensemble): wool socks, fat condensing base layer, lined bibs, and Craft WindStopper base layer*.  Then down to the big box of bike shit for Part 2: riding jacket, cool weather gloves, vintage skull-cap and my regular Pearl Izumi kicks. With that, me and the Boone were out the door…

With all the recent shit in my beer hibernating I’ve done in my protest against the ongoing crap spring, the air felt even colder than usual. Just a few miles into the ride and I was seriously thinking of saying “fuck it.” But I didn’t, I kept going in hopes that a change of wind direction and some hills might warm me up. I really couldn’t figure it out, I’ve worn nearly the same layers of gear for years now– in way colder temps than this–and felt great. What in hell’s bells?? Onward…


A few nice rollers to get warmed up.

I attempted avoid any lengthy bouts of headwind, aiming to just deal with cross winds for the day. I also took the hillier roads that I usually avoid during the winter while on the Fatterson. Thankfully that worked for a while and I had all but forgotten about heading home. Well ,that and I realized that I was half way into the 25 mile Better Than Trainer Ride (Dirty South Edition)™ anyway.


Maple filled catheter bags.

The roads south of town have WAY more potholes than north of town, but thankfully the road were pretty dry for the most part. Considering the recent days of snow and freezing rain, I was pleasantly surprised. There were a couple stretches of deep dirt that the county must have been out laying down today, and that was sketchy at times, but all in all, it was pretty not bad.


Cow in maze of fence.

The temperatures are supposed to slowly rise this week, so I am hopeful that as they do, my miles will too. Having said that, my body continues to feel like it got hit by a truck; my hip is cracking and popping and my long-time sore lower back continues to feel sore, both on and off the bike. I am SUPER close to making an appointment with an orthopedic to see what’ up, not doubt it’s some sort of chronic, arthritic degenerative bone disease that degenerates like me get.


Vulture ready to pounce on my old ass.

Hell, I feel like shit one dirt roads, I am NOT confident about how I’ll feel on singletrack. I might be on my way to selling my mountain bikes and taking up something less painful, like competitive flatulence or tantric bowel moving. As my late Grandma Helen used to say– “It’s hell getting old…” Oh well, I can still do it, so things aren’t all that bad. Plus, hip and back pain fits in nicely with my near deaf left ear, depression, blood clots, and joblessness. Makes me sort of the complete package. Wifey is one lucky gal!


Equine stare down.

While I have had better rides, and God knows I’ve had warmer rides, I was sure glad I didn’t retreat home from those first few cold miles, ’cause in the end I was happy to get out on my bike, and I got some OK shots with my X-T10.


Emo horse.

*Oh yeah, when I got home and started stripping of all that gear I noticed a key flaw to my layering– I forgot to even put on my Craft WindStopper. All I had on was some tight ass wicking base layer under my jacket. No wonder my nips ready to cut glass the whole ride! You can’t cure stupid I suppose.


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