The winter thus far has left me with little motivation to get out on the bike. Prior to riding Sunday I had only ridden twice through the week; one freezing cold ride in the wind and snow drifts, and one short ride on the soft snow at Sally’s Trail down in Alma. The rest of the week was spent on the treadmill and lifting heavy things for no reason. I wanted to get outside on Saturday, and even went so far as to ready my snowshoes, but after I was done clearing the driveway of another five inches of snow, I lost my desire and found myself reaching for my Xbox controller and a bottle opener instead. Saturday would be Sloth Day.
I spent Sunday morning watching footy on TV and tried not to think about leaving the house. I wanted to ride of course, I just didn’t want to do it in 17˚ temperatures. More coffee please!
I saw that some folks in Alma were literally pulling a sled loaded with 140 pound of sand bags around the trail in an attempt to pack it down, and I was unsure whether me snowshoeing it would be appreciated or not (it would have been), so once I realized I could put the ride off no longer I stuffed myself into the seven hundred pieces of cold weather gear that a winter ride requires and head out for another short 15 mile loop of snirt roads on the Fatterson.
The temps were equally as cold as earlier in the week, but with the wind blowing at a mere 5 or 6 MPH, it felt way warmer. Still, that first mile had my fingers hurting pretty darn good. Of course 10 miles later I was sweating like it was 80˚.
The paved road leading to the dirt roads was void of deep snow, mostly clear and it was nice to not have to worry about ice. However the Fatterson was squirrely as hell on the exposed pavement with 6 PSI in the tires, and I was anxious to hit the packed snow on the dirt roads.
Most of the dirt roads were snow packed, with little drifting, and no real signs of ice, that usually doesn’t happen until we go through some freeze/thaw cycles, then it’s time to bust out the studs or risk broken bones.
As I confessed earlier I had little desire to be out in the cold, and slogging along at 8 MPH on roads that my cross bike would be pushing 20 MPH on was a kick in the icy junk, but after a few miles of talking to myself and finding the right frame of mind everything started to click.
- You are not on your cross bike, you’re on a fat bike.
- It’s December in Michigan, there’s snow and it’s cold. Deal with it.
- You’re outside on your bike with your camera, enjoy it.
- Moving at 8 MPH on a fatty is like 5+ MPH faster than you would be moving on snowshoes.
- You ate like an entire homemade pizza last night, you need to do this Fatty McFatterson!
After those positive thoughts and some mild fat shaming, things got a bit better. It was still cold, I was still slow, and I was still fat, but I found some Winter Zen to get me through the ride.
On the picture taking side of things, one of the things I’ve been trying to do with the camera of late is capture some of the patina and distressed textures that the barns of rural Michigan offer. Hoping to have a post up on the Junk Miles site in a day or two featuring some of what I’ve got so far.
I promise that eventually all this waffling, complaining, and lack of motivation starts to subside and winter riding just sort of happens, but until then most rides will continue to be filled with more pep talks and more fat shaming.