Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Winter Cycling

Well here we are well into what's supposed to be the bleak mid-winter but somebody forgot to alert the Snow-Miser of that fact

cause it's January 10th and while the grass is not exactly green, I can still see it. My original plan for this time of year was to retire to my lair (local Rec center) for spin* cycling classes, stationary bike workouts and hours on the elliptical machine. But with daytime temps pushing into the low fifties for almost a week straight, I had to pull the bikes off their hooks in the garage (Rodzilla sleeps with his bike next to him in the bedroom, we've covered this but it bears repeating if for no other reason than the fact that he somehow managed to convince his wife that it was her idea) and hit the salt stained street.

*No I don't have a set of rollers or a trainer in my basement. Yes I do realize there are very few things less manly than a spin class full of ladies, an aerobics instructor and Beyonce on the sound system ... working out for an hour on an elliptical machine being one of them. But I've accepted it. You gotta work with what you got (and this is what I got).

On New Year's Day I managed the standard 30 mile Rose Canyon ride with Swedish Matt. If we we're choosing teams, the Swede would be squarely in the Snow Miser's corner. We don't see the Swede much in the winter, he's supposed to be skiing, pretty much from the day after Halloween till Memorial Day weekend. Not this year. Lot's of brown in the mountains, but just enough snow and ice to keep him from biking on the trails. Call him disgruntled.

Last Thursday I had the day off so I grabbed the Fezzari (with the cheater triple ring) and La Canadienne and we rode to the top of Suncrest and back. It felt like far more than the 40 miles and 1600 feet of climb that it was. Amazing how quickly the rust accumulates on the quads & calves when you're not donning the lycra and cycling shoes on a daily basis. When I got home I touched bases with the crew and found out that Thad (aka Pickle Juice, PJ for those that like shorthand) was out for his own ride on (what should have been a snow packed) Wasatch Blvd. Crazy!
View from the top (of Suncrest) lots of winter haze but no white stuff. Do I look confused? Surprised, out of context? That's the way I feel too.

Do you remember the first term in office of the second President George Bush? When they mailed out a tax refund* check to stimulate the economy and though (like always) you didn't really pay much attention to the Presidential Press conference announcing the stimulus package, you couldn't help but notice when a check for $600 showed up in you mailbox two weeks later? That's how this January feels, like found money. Is this global warming? Is it possible that the Karmic payoff for my 20 years of fossil fuel commuting is a 12 month cycling season in the Rocky mountains? If so I'm not complaining, mostly because the property I own is at 4400 feet above sea level and a full 700 miles from the nearest ocean. Something tells me though that not only will this not last, but we're bound to end up paying for it on the back end (like that bogus Tax Credit). I'm calling it now: another long, cold, wet spring lasting well into May. I really hope I'm wrong. For now I'll ride out the winter while weather permits and begin posting the blogs from some of the great, late-fall canyon rides I did at what I thought was the close of the year in cycling.

First up: Millcreek Canyon

Check back soon,


*Turns out that was more a payday loan than a tax refund. You ended up paying for it on the next tax return. Death and taxes, things you can count on.

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