Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ride of Defiance

I snoozed once and then turned off my alarm which had rang fairly early. As hard as it was I had to work a little bit this morning. My wife was already up making breakfast for everyone. I brought my egg sandwich downstairs and when I was sitting in my office I looked out the window and saw about 3 inches of snow in my window well. My heart sank. I looked up through the window well cover and the sky was grey and dark and there was snow built up everywhere I could see. We had a small winter storm and it was a real winter wonderland or as I like to think of it - winter contamination. It made me mad.

I don't like winter and I don't like the snow. I guess it had snowed off and on most of the night and while it had warmed up to 30F by the time I was done working there was still a lot of ice and snow and wet and crud out on the road and the chilly presence of a 12 mph wind coming steady out of the north. Ugh. I didn't want to have another day with a ride on the trainer. I sat there in my office looking at my old bike. The tray table with the fan on it was still sitting there off the front wheel with the old bike still hooked up to the trainer. The old bike was clean and looked new. The old bike was ready.

I looked at my new(er) bike and I looked at the snow and I decided to go for a ride out in the muck. Outside in winter wonderland. Out in the winter contamination. The new(er) bike was already pretty dirty and when I peeked out the window again I imagined that it was possible that the roads might be fairly clear. Well clear enough anyway. I guess. Hopefully. Traffic should be fairly light too on a Sunday morning so I grabbed my gear and took my bike upstairs and leaned it against the edge of the couch and got ready.

When I started out I didn't think I would go very far or very long or even very fast. The wind was cold and strong and it was still pretty slick. Instead this would be a nice easy and calm ride of defiance. My personal snub to the winter that I hate. Kind of an "occupy winter" one man rolling protest where I would get out on my bike and pedal it around and try to melt the snow right now and end winter right here by my sheer force of will.

Taking a break in the sticks in Draper. I was getting off my bike to take this picture and some nice folks stopped and asked if I needed a ride somewhere. Not every motorist is a jerk just like some cyclists actually follow traffic rules.

Getting things ready to roll. The driveway was very slick in my Speedplay cleats and my neighbors think I'm crazy for riding in the winter. I think I would be crazy not to.

The ride of defiance - "occupy winter" - my own personal protest complete with a life size fist pumping action figure.

The front derailleur was getting real cruddy. I don't know what the heck is on there but it looks like I ran over some raw spaghetti. I hate a dirty bike only a little more than I hate cleaning it. I have to try to find my Dumonde Tech chain lube. I can't wait for Spring.

Share the road signs were everywhere today. I like them. The bike lanes were fairly clear as well. Only a couple of problems with snowplows piling snow around some corners in the bike lanes and some thoughtless church-goers thinking that the bike lanes are there for the sole purpose of being their personal parking space when they attend Sunday service. Sharing the road is especially important when there's less road to share due to snow and ice. Also as a courtesy to cyclists - please don't park in the bike lanes.

The bike, my back, my shoes, my socks, my leg warmers, my bibs - just about everything got a little muddy today. I did wipe my tires off and tried to bounce any moisture off my bike before I brought it inside today. I don't want winter contaminating the inside of the house too.

It was snowing on the way home and snowing when I got home. What started out to be a really short easy ride gradually morphed into a 25 mile ride with slightly more effort than easy. Nothing too outrageous but I didn't want to give winter the impression that I was giving this ride of defiance only a token effort. Let's hope the snow is not long for this winter because I'm really really ready for winter to be over right now. I keep looking for the little buds on the stark tree branches and I noticed my wife was looking for them too yesterday when we went on a long walk on the river parkway with the kids. That moment yesterday when I saw my wife do that - that was a cool moment.

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