I was riding down a rocky, snow-covered trail on a cold, windy, February day, and all I could think about was “Why am I here, what is WRONG with me?” I was sure that any reasonably-sane person would be spending this miserable day in the warmth and safety of the great-indoors. In fact, this is what my coach said after I reported on my weekend workouts. I felt bad because instead of riding for four hours on Saturday, I barely rode for two:
“there is HONESTLY just no way in FREAKING HELL I would have been OUTDOORS anywhere on Saturday.. all day I kept thinking, SERIOUSLY, if you email me that you rode on any sort of bike outside i will pee my pants… (but I haven’t yet)… but seriously… it was CRAZY.”
That totally cracked me up, but also helped to verify that I am crazy after all. Maybe. Probably. I thought back on my last several mountain bike rides and I could not even remember a ride where it wasn’t below 30 degrees, snowy, or raining. I guess it is winter after all. On every ride, I wonder what people without mountain bikes do when it snows. I guess they do the normal thing and stay inside. So sensible. So boring. However, it’s not like I have been braving the weather and strictly riding outside, I have been riding inside quite a bit as well.
Our heat died the night before we left for Cyclocross Worlds, and it was not back on until Tuesday night. After that, I was SO DONE with winter. Living in a 50 degree house does not make it easier to ride in 30 degree weather. It makes it way worse. We have a new super-efficient boiler now, but the heat doesn’t seem any hotter, even though I want it to be. Our house is now just more efficient at being drafty.
When I was practically sitting on top of a space heater while the contractors were at our house, I couldn’t help but think about the Pilgrims and other early settlers. They didn’t have high-efficiency boilers, space heaters, weather.com, or super markets selling strawberries in the middle of winter. I wonder how they did it, but in truth, a lot of them died.
I may not died like an ill-prepared early American settler for riding outside in the cold, but I think I am ready for Spring.