I didn’t think it was going to happen at all…

…cause the weather looks like this:

weather_storm.png

But I managed before it started sleeting/frozen raining. I try and do some sort of epic ride every year around my birthday. I used to try and do it on my birthday, but that’s almost never possible somehow. But it doesn’t matter because it seems like no matter what day works out, the weather does not cooperate. It has been extremely cold, sleeting, snowing, or some combination of all three. So the epic part has been less about miles and more about just getting out there in this nastiness. So today, by going early I traded cold for frozen rain. Feels like a fair trade. It was about freezing when I went, all layered up. Since I has just put a new seatpost and saddle on the Salsa I took it around the corner to make sure things were good. Saddle was good, but I adjusted a cleat and added a layer. Uphill was fine, but downhill was leaking through.

Suitably protected

[On top, Merino wool base, mid weight poly, waffle weave jersey, Rapha Winter Jersey and Lightweight Softshell (I could really use the regular one, but alas, I can’t afford it) and a Pearl Izumi jacket over that. I had a winter wool cap on, and a Winter Collar to pull up over my mouth and nose on the downhills. Half lobster gloves. On the bottom was Mad Alchemy embro and a single winter weight long bibs. Lake winter boots, no special socks (well, they’re cool white with red polka dots, but not winter weight and you couldn’t see them anyway. I went with circulation over insulation in the warm Lake boots.]


I made my way to the hills and started climbing. I love the quiet that days like this have. It’s Sunday, it’s early, the weather looks threatening, most sane people are pulling covers over their heads. Who’s out? Some folks running in loose sweats, a pack of cyclists going in the other direction with their clear rain capes on (they looked cold…) and couple of people looking miserable while walking their dogs.

So yeah, it was quiet. And I love that. You can hear all the forest land interactions. Skittering of little things collecting food. Birds dropping portions of whatever from the trees. The occasional snap of a twig under a hoof. And the superbly quiet whirring of a tuned drivetrain.

I rolled up past this one incredibly sized mansion. Past the closed summer camp perched on the side of the hill. Up the final steep pitch and past a group of guys who looked like they were about to go hiking and were in the middle of the pre hike joshin’ and jokin’ around. Finally deeper in the park and the quiet is near complete. The lakes were frozen and the gravel roads frozen and fun to ride.

I didn’t feel like rolling all the way around, the back half of this ride is less pretty, so rode out to the Church in the Woods and turned around. What a lovely ride to start the year.

This bike has been with me for a while but in a few incarnations. I’ve used it as a commuter built as a single speed on the mean streets of the City. Recently when I rebuilt my “summer” bike I moved the old parts here. I’ve been using it on the trainer and rollers, and for some of these messy rides. It bears the brunt of the worst weather, my most tired riding, and the indignity of the rollers… all with a bike like smile. It’s smooth, and more than stiff enough, comfortable, and pleasant. It complains about nothing except… when I really step on it going uphill I can wrench the rear tire askew in the dropouts. No matter how I clamp the wheel I seem to be able to do it, and since it happens at the worst possible moment (going up a steep uphill is not the time for what feels like a some serious braking with a preceding rise in gear if I don’t do it all at once.) I’ll have to work on that problem. All else is really lovely.

Cloudy and dark

The frozen lake, although I wouldn’t walk out there at the moment.

Harriman Hills

The previous snow is almost gone.

Salsa Casseroll

The Salsa Casseroll does yeoman’s duty during the wet winter months. I normally have fatter tires on there, but I was too lazy this morning to change out the wheels. Besides, these guys have been getting the brunt of the roller sessions. I feel like I owed them some fresh air and gravel.

View across handlebars

Haven’t used 3T stuff before. This stem is not too expensive, not heavy. (6 degree, 100)

Salsa Casseroll

I got a Bontrager seatpost with the Moots Monster Cross. I had this Fizik Antares saddle waiting in the wings for the Moots, but I dropped the combo on here because Aliantes have been less comfortable than they once were. I wouldn’t mind a smidge more padding, but the Antares are working better, and the post saddle combo was lighter to boot. I’ll Ebay stuff this week.

Church gets new slate roof

The Old Church in the Woods which never seems that active but is clearly getting fresh new slates and copper flashing. Shows what I know. Slate roofs look amazing, and cared for, can last 100 years or so. My kind of conservation.

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One thought on “I didn’t think it was going to happen at all…

  1. Gerry says:

    I rode too yesterday, but it was 72 degrees. Well, a couple more weeks I’ll be back. Nice ride by you though. Happy (belated) birthday.

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