Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Snow Ride! Take It Easy...
I awoke Sunday morning with intentions of doing a 40 mile loop on the rural roads of Gadsden County. A quick look at the weather slowed my roll, though. 35F and winds gusting in the 20's, did not sound like fun, no matter how much I think I like to get my Belgian on!
Luckily, Big Jim Slade came through with a mountain bike plan, so I went into scurry and panic mode, to make it to the prescribed meeting time and place. After Saturday's rains, Munson was sure to be in prime condition. As I was loading my bike, I saw flecks floating down into the bed of the truck. My first thoughts were of snow, but nah! This is Florida, so someone must be burning trash piles this morning. It sure is early to be burning, I pondered, but then again, at least the fire would feel warm. And I continued getting dressed and loading my gear. 20 minutes later, Ms. Worm gives me a call, to tell me it's snowing on her in traffic. She's so excited, it's becoming infectious.
It was spotty at best, and certainly was not accumulating, but the fact that we got snow this far south made for a unique occasion. As I sat through various red lights, I watched the small flakes drift and skitter across the hood and windshield, eventually melting where they came to rest.
We rode probably 2 and a half laps of Munson, as I begged off from the Twilight Loop. Forgive me, but to me, that loop is good for packing on miles, but it just gets boring. Munson still feels like a mountain bike trail, and the constant twists and turns keep me entertained. Twilight was a blast, when I had 35hp in my throttle hand, and 12+" of suspension travel to eat the whoops, but at bicycle speeds. it leaves something to be desired. I had fears of riding Twilight this windy, damp morning, and having nothing to occupy my attention, except "turn the pedals", and "Damn I'm cold".
The guys entertained my desires, and I tried to keep things from getting monotonous by mixing up the directions and randomly throwing in the short cut trails. The pace, for me, stayed medium to high, for most of the ride. I'd heard of the knock down drag out battle these two had at their last Munson ride, and quite honestly, I just didn't want to get dropped. They let me lead, so I tried to keep it at a pace that kept me from getting passed. Besides, the best way to defeat the cold days like this, is to refer back to Rule #5, ride hard, and the reap the warmth that comes with the effort. The wind was blowing so hard in some sections, you'd round a bend in the trail, and instantly be 2 gears to high.(Except for BJS, who only brought one gear, anyway.)
Unfortunately, the snow was scarce until the very end of the ride. As we rode the Paper Cup trail back to the parking lot, I was just noticing the flakes in the air, and the dampness as it landed on my face, when Big Jim asked if it was snowing again, or was it just my tires throwing sand in his face?
I know it's minuscule to the folks who ride at other latitudes, but for Florida guys, it was cool to be able to say we got a snow ride.