I have not wanted to write about the weather. You can spend too much on a thing like that without inspiring yourself or anyone else to ride. Neither complaint nor tale of derring do is particularly moving. The former is boring, and the latter is too much like bragging.
But this winter.
I have done more memorable rides this winter than in any I can remember. The extremes have been both of cold and of precipitant. A -4F air temperature with a steady wind taking it to -19F wind chill lowered my personal mark for pure cold commuting. As an aside, my friends in Minnesota are chuckling right now, as if their everyday could somehow be my all-time-record.
And then there was the ride through an active snow that left more than a foot of the white stuff on the ground. Following the plow was only a marginal improvement over riding the virgin powder. It was falling that fast. My riding companion and I stayed close, sometimes charting a course right down the center of the road, and most of our energy was spent just trying to stay upright, our rear wheels slipping and slithering, our handlebars jerking left-to-right. I felt proud not to have fallen, and disappointed that I had to walk the last two blocks home. The plow hadn’t yet been through, and the snow was knee deep.
Meanwhile, Padraig is spinning his way around Palm Springs, where it’s 85F today.
What I want to make clear is that I enjoyed each of these rides, the test of them, the adventure. While I’m not sure I would ever choose these conditions, presented with them, I have been game to try. It can be hard to find adventure in our everyday riding. When adventure comes to us, we usually benefit from accepting.
This week’s Group Ride asks the question, what was your last real cycling adventure? What was it made of? Geography? Weather? Terrain? Did you find a hidden road or trail or ramp or pump track right under your own nose, right in the midst of your regular stomping grounds? Or did you ride L’Eroica? In Italy.