I can't say that I like the cold. Hell it's why I left Minnesota and never really go back unless it's that one sunny month a year they get there. I love the warm, 320 sunny days a year of Colorado Springs. Love wearing t-shirts and shoes with no socks most of the year. I enjoy shopping for sunglasses more than I do cold weather clothing. Cheaper that way too. But yet there is something to be said about a bike ride when the weather is a bit brisk out.
Maybe it's related to the old saying "Can take the Boy out of Minnesota, but you can't take the Minnesota out of the boy". Maybe it's my body just wants to suffer through the cold like it did for so many years growing up. Whether it be sledding, xc ski training/races in sub zero, XC running, playing soccer in the snow in shorts, or the many snow rides Riska and I dared each other to go on. And really I placed in almost all the snow races I did. It's just in me.
Today is hardly a Minnesota day. But there was just the right amount of chill to my ride. Long sleeve base layer, short sleeve jersey, shorts, shoes sans socks, helmet, summer grade full finger gloves, and tunes tapping on my ear drums. Ride started off chilly and got cooler as I ventured up in to Cheyenne Canyon. As I climbed up the road the temp dropped very quickly. I haven't seen snow sticking to the ground in weeks, but as I climbed long patches flanked the sides of the road. I must admit I kicked myself for not packing my jacket, even just one more think layer to protect from the wind and cold would have been nice. But I had not and as the grade increased my only choice was to stand up on the one gear I had to play with and generate the heat another way.
As I neared the desired goal of reaching the crossroads of the Canyon's pavement and the dirt trail of the Columbine trail I took a left and started back down. A mix of snow and slush in spots chilled me once again as it splashed up on my bare legs. Maybe socks would have been a good idea I think. I was saved for a moment when Face to Face's cover of Fugazi's "Merchandise" came on, the lyrics and guitar are became a suitable focal point deviation from the cold.
I shivered away as I dumped back out on the pavement of Cheyenne Rd. Spinning my 42x19 until I could spin no more provided enough warmth to deal with the bite of the wind on my way home. Another section of dirt would be hit before the final leg home. I started off feeling a bit weak and finished the last part home strong. In the end I felt a wee bit happier, stress had left for a moment in time, and a smile back where i belonged. Maybe the cold I did not miss is what I missing the most.
Copyright Front Range Cyclist 2011