Friday, November 23, 2012
Cycling in the late fall and winter around here will be a journey -- no pun intended. I watch the forecast for days when the temp looks promising, and plan accordingly. There hasn't been too much promise in November -- at least, not for this cold-weather-apparel-lacking gal. This week promised to be different. Wednesday was supposed to be 65 degrees (and who cares about wind if the temp is 65?) and Thursday was forecast to be 58. I entertained the notion of cycling home from Thanksgiving meal at my mom's, a distance of 12 miles or so.
Then it hit me -- I was going to be in town on Wednesday with spare time, and the LBS told me if there was a nice day yet this fall, I should come in and take a test ride on a new road bike. Guess what I did Wednesday? Yup. I took a test ride on a Specialized Dolce Sport Compact. Ahhhh -- riding uphill felt like riding on the flat. The drops were great, and made the wind less windy. The brakes, well, I had to remember they weren't where I wanted them to be, and I managed not to come a cropper. My son was riding along with me, and he was hurting, trying to keep up -- so instead of a lovely 10 mile cruise, it was more like a 5 mile limp. But the bike was WONDERFUL! (My son liked the bike, too. He got a short test, long enough to show him why it was he had to work hard to keep up with me when I wasn't pedaling while going up hill. His verdict: Your bike weighs less than my front tire.)
Like I'm going to spend $990 for a bike. We'll have to see what comes in used next spring, when people start upgrading. But oh, I now know I do love me a road bike.
When we got home from town, the first thing I did was pop on my bike. My normal bike, that is. Given the wind and the fact that I had leaves to rake before starting supper, I opted for a short route. You know wind is a factor when, when going downhill, you slow up if you cease pedaling. Especially on those downhills where you normally top 20 mph just coasting. I did 9.8 miles in 45 minutes, and practiced standing up in the pedals coming up the last hill. Faster, certainly, but a definite workout!
Then I raked leaves for an hour, and then I started supper, dove into the shower, and realized that I wouldn't be able to bike home the next day because SOMEONE would need to drive the car, and my daughter is still on a learner's permit. Drat.
Actually, undrat. The 'high of 58' was misleading. At 5:15 AM, the temperature was 53 degrees. That was reasonable. At 3:15 PM, the temperature was 36 and there were snow crystals in the air. Baaaad biking weather, especially with a strong wind that would have been against me for 10 miles. Ick. This morning it's 19 (degrees) with the wind of 29 (miles per hour). Not biking weather. Unless, of course, you have a paper route and have to be out there, like some people who are not me.
It's time to stay home, sip tea, and be thankful for a snug home! And dream of warm weather, calm days, and long bike rides.