Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rough Transitions

With each passing year, the transition from lingering summertime weather to the brutality of winter gets more difficult for me. If there could just be a half degree temperature drop ever other day, then perhaps I could slowly adjust to the cold. Nah, I doubt that would even work. The long and short of it is, I do NOT like cold weather, and my dislike for it grows stronger each season. But alas, winter comes whether I like it or not, and this weekend was a rough reminder of what is in store for the next few months.

If you must have pictures at which to look while you read, you will not find them here today. You will have to take a peak at my latest entry on the QuickshotNinja Blogspot for visual entertainment. There is a detailed pictorial of our most epic ride in Switzerland when we conquered 3 passes and 12,000' of climbing in one day (the Grimsel, Furka, and Susten Passes). We fondly refer to it as the Swiss Triple Bypass. Recapping those fantastic memories will give me something to focus on during the dark dreary days of winter.

The past few weeks have not held much riding for me at all. Raja enjoys night riding, so he has been getting in a few rides at Big Creek while I sit at home in the comfort and warmth of our heated house; getting fat, slow, and lazy, but at least I am warm while I do it.

Not only do I dislike cold, I do not enjoy darkness. Being visually challenged to begin with, I have difficulty seeing in the dark with only the aid of a light strapped to my helmet. I see a trend here. I am now a grumpy old woman that can only complain, "It's too cold. It's dark, I can't see. This 3 lb lead battery hurts my back when I ride." What am I going to do with myself?

Suck it up. For 20 years I have been complaining about the same old things. Obviously they aren't going to change, so I guess I will have to do the changing. Well, I ain't gonna change, but I suppose I can do my best to deal with it and keep the whining to a minimum.

Saturday morning Raja woke me up from a deep deep slumber, and I contemplated rolling over and resuming my luxurious sleep. Instead, I grumpily got up, and readied myself for a mountain bike ride without uttering one word the entire time. He declared that we were going up to Ellijay for the Chili Dawg ride. It was going to be too windy for us to join Cam and Rlaz for a road ride, so a mtn bike ride on dirt roads would be the saner option.

We were the first to roll in at 9:30 to the Big Creek Fire Station. We were still the only ones sitting there at 9:59. Where was everyone? A little rain and cold weather never stopped these people before. The first Chili Dawg ride we did last year was in the exact same conditions and there were a cast of thousands in the parking lot when we arrived. Oh well. We're here, so let's ride.

We drove a few miles down the road to the bottom of Springer Mountain, parked, and suited up. At the last minute I decided to take my wind breaker, thinking I would not need it until the last 3 mile descent. What a wise decision that ended up being.

It was cold to begin with and the forecast was for dropping temperatures. I put on a base layer, long sleeve jersey, vest, and jacket, and it still was not enough to keep me warm on the ride. At least I had my new Sidi winter shoes. This was their first ride, and I was never so happy to have a new pair of shoes!

The road up Noontoola and over Springer was soft, muddy, and laborious. It rained off and on the entire time, and even sleeted on us. The wind blew brutally cold air and we laughed at ourselves over the absurdity of what we were doing. I found myself singing the Camp Hillseeker song, "happy happy happy, climb climb climb" in hopes that it would lift my spirits. I cannot wait until the hot days of summer return. Give me heat, I can handle that.

We survived a whopping 20 miles and just over 2 hours. That particular route is probably the coldest spot in the area, so why do we always do it in the wintertime? We should be doing it in the summertime when we're begging for a cool place to ride. I only associate Noontoola/Springer with cold, ice, and mud.

Today was just as cold, but at least the sun was shining. We went south to Dauset for the poker ride by OMBA. My legs felt much better today, and it did not rain on us. The Captain led us on a mad chase to find all 9 punches, so it kept my mind off how cold I was. We laughed and had a good ole time and raced from station to station. With barely over an hour of riding, we were done. Normally, I'd be begging for someone to keep riding with me, but not today. I haven't made that transition yet to enduring the cold. Maybe I'll make it eventually, just not this weekend. These transitions are hard!

This week is supposed to be cold, so I seriously doubt I'll do a night ride. Besides, I have work to do. There are over 150 dozen Rocky Road Bars in my fridge that need to be shipped out.

I do not miss those days of cranking out the chocolate. This is the busiest time of year for a confectioner, and it makes it next to impossible to stay on the bike. Chocolate....cold weather......too many things to keep me off the bike. Somethings gotta give. Ooooo, transitions are rough!

1 comment:

Eric said...

Now that's funny!
Raja did mention something about the lack of daylight and warm weather keeping you at home while we rode Big Creek ;-)