it to the fourth or fifth circle of hell. The guys were plowing along like locomotives while I fishtailed and swerved all over the trail like a 1980s Oldsmobile Cutlass. Given that this was my idea, I didn't want to complain, though I feebly mumbled, "Maybe we should get back on the road" No one heard.
It's funny how you never do know how it's going to play out when you roll the first pedalstrokes of a winter ride. Two days before the aforementioned sufferfest, Dave and I had done a New Year's Eve mountain ride in the snow that I thought would be smooth sailing in the fluffy fresh snow. Though fun, it was an exercise in skiing on two wheels that sent me over my bars once and into the trees more times than I can count. The next day Dave wanted to go long, so we planned to hitch up to do three to four hours with Mike, Ryan, and Swiatek. Again, I was optimistic. But seems I'm often foolishly so.
A WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM EST THIS EVENING. THE LOW PRESSURE IS MOVING A LITTLE FASTER TO THE NORTHEAST WITH THE GRADIENT RELAXING OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL HOURS. HOWEVER, WE CAN EXPECT GUSTS 45 TO 50 MPH.
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At this point, I'd gotten the layering down. One wool tank top; one long sleeve turtle neck silk shirt; one long sleeve Polypropylene shirt; one jacket; one Buff around my neck and chin, one Buff around my head; long tights; wool socks; winter shoes, and lobster gloves. We saddled up and rolled out. On the road, the sun was breaking slightly through the gray wispy clouds above, while geese soared in echelon flight overhead. "It's really nice out here," I shouted over to Dave, who could barely hear through his myriad headwraps. Thirty minutes later we greeted our friends at the trailhead. I braced myself for a few hours of pain and suffering as we beelined into the woods. Tracks! Much to my delight there was a wide set of well worn tracks. Other riders had already broken the ground. The trails, which are typically very rocky and East Coast technical were like a West Coast highway with the rocks buried beneath the hard packed snow. The six of us spent the next two hours swooping, sweeping, carving, Huffy skidding and smiling like idiots. At one point, beaming like the sun, Christine exclaimed, "It'd be just like California if it wasn't two degrees!"
I hate wind. I especially hate wind when it's blowing sub freezing air 30 mph directly into my face as I'm climbing Nike Air Max 95 Safari Womens
Fit ChickPrevious postNext postJanuary 5, 2010Building character: That was the catch phrase of the weekend. We've had snow. We've had ice. We've had flooding rains, which turned to more snow and ice. Did that break our cycling spirits? Nope. We slipped, slid, and soldiered on. But then on Saturday we got this:
through an open orchard. I really, really hate it when I haven't eaten in three hours because I can't dig out anything edible from my pockets and can't bear to remove my lobster gloves lest my fingers succumb to frostbite and crack off like stale breadsticks. But there I was, legs empty and aching, head vapory, cheeks burning, will to live plummeting, methodically turning over my pedals Saturday afternoon with Ryan, Mike, Harlan, Josh and Swiatek. I hate when people whine on an obviously difficult ride, so I did my best to wear my happy face and keep the conversation light. But inside, I was talking myself off high ledges. "I think I've done enough character building," Ryan declared at Buy Nike Air Max Womens Online last as we pulled into a church parking lot for a nature/food break. "Yeah, I have enough to last a lifetime," I sputtered back through chattering teeth and frozen lips. Somehow after that, the day actually ended up okay. The sun came out. We found our second (or third or fourth) winds and hot coffee, cold beer, football and food made it all feel better. But the pain cave was deep and dark there for a stretch.
We finally did get back on the road for some much needed respite. But it didn't last long. The path in Bethlehem hadn't been plowed either. Everyone seemed game to break more ground, so I braced myself for more beating. And a beating it was as my neck ached and quads burned trying to keep rhythm and hold a line plowing through the uncarved snow. At some point we all thankfully decided to give up the ghost, hike up the power lines and hit the road for the remainder of the ride, which like the following day's gusty adventure, ended up actually pretty okay; fun even.
It started out okay. We met up along the road and rolled down to the park, where the path was groomed and provided ample traction under our tiresfor a while. Midway through, however, we switched from following well worn tracks to breaking trail. Dave likened it to riding cobbles in Belgium. I likened Nike Air Max 2013 Blue
Three days of bone freezing and gear grinding, however, left me wanting to spend Sunday in hibernation, or at least spinning my wheels in warm comfort on my rollers, especially since a high wind advisory was back into effect, promising to make the "real feel" temperature about 9 degrees. That was not to be. "Joachim and Neyen want to go for a mountain bike ride," Dave announced, reading the text messages off his phone. "Keith and Christine might come, too." "Really?" I thought, barely able to wrap my mind around another long day in the relentless wind and cold. I was also pretty certain the trail conditions were simply going to suck. Not one to miss a party, I tossed my lid into the ring and thought, "Bring it on."
Friday greeted the New Year with a fresh coating of crunchy sleet and a stiff, send the flags flying sideways breeze. I glanced out the bathroom window to see the rhododendron leaves curled into tight little sleeves, a sure sign of a Russian winter awaiting outside. But I had a plan. We'd take our cross bikes down to the Parkway, a local city park with a well maintained cinder path along the Little Lehigh River. From there we'd head over to the towpath in Bethlehem and heck, maybe ride it all the way to Easton and back for a solid 50 to 60 mile day. Did I mention I have bouts of foolish optimism?
We finished the ride, cracked open a big bottle of Brooklyn, passed it around and headed for home. "Thanks for dragging me out. That was awesome," I shouted over to Dave as we cruised past glistening white fields under a now bright blue sky. I'll still be happy when I can shed six or seven layers under the warm spring sun. But for now, I'm ready to build my character another day.
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