Beats The Trainer


After Friday’s sweet ride in the woods on the Procaliber, I took Saturday off the bike to go take some pics at a local cross race here in town [you can see the gallery at]. Unfortunately it pissed down a hard rain all day Sunday, so a ride was out. Then on Monday the piss down continued, but this time it was accompanied by gusting, wrath of God, Old Testament style gusting winds. With that, I needed to be content with lifting heavy things for no reason and running going nowhere in the Stankment™ until today. Huzzah!

Except not really. After the two-day piss down, I knew the dirt roads would be a soft quagmire of gritty mud and suck, so I was forced to the road and a Better Than The Trainer Ride (Plèasant – Bêal – Plèasant version)™.

The dark clouds, cool breeze, and temperatures struggling to get over 35˚ at ride time were hardly motivating me to put down my cup o’ bust ass and head out on a bike, but knowing that it’s nearly Christmas and I’m still able to get out on snow and ice-free roads was VERY motivating. So I found my big boy undies (also known as my getting too tight riding gear) and headed out for an hour and forty-five minutes of what is known as central Michigan’s most adequate, I guess it’ll do road loops (that is more like a long rectangle than any loop I’ve ever seen, and is about as exciting as a rectangle in a 4th grade math book).


Beech’s, the store that has everything.

The ride gave me everything I fully expected: a cool breeze from the north/west, flat pavement, a few false flat and mild grades that pass for climbs, and time to reflect on what it’s like to ride in temperatures that don’t really call for a balaclava, but have you wishing that you had worn one anyway. It also gave me time to remember why I do this ride; it sure as hell beats riding the trainer!

I have no doubt that at some point in the coming months the snow will be just too deep, the temperatures will be just too cold, the wind will be blowing too hard, I will be a bit sicker of off the bike workouts, and I will once again find myself in the Stankment™ listening to music, sweating all over myself and pedaling nowhere fast.

But until then…


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