Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Baby It's Cold Outside

What is it about the cold that makes generally adventurous people start searching for their Snuggies?  This seems to be especially true in cycling where I have more than 1 friend with a 40 degree rule.  You know what I mean.  Those people who proclaim they won’t start a ride if the temperature is under 40 degrees.

That was our situation on last Saturday’s team ride.  I woke up to a beautiful frost covered morning.  It was a brisk 30 degrees with a  predicted temp of 39 at ride time.  Since I was the ride leader, I immediately started getting the “it’s too cold” text as folks bailed.

Cycling and espresso
Me? I love riding in the cold.  It’s the perfect excuse to hit the drive-thru espresso huts where I can quickly down a mid-ride espresso and never step off the bike.  But in reality, there’s more to it than that.

To begin with, I feel an obligation to my cycling friends from around the country who can’t ride in winter because they really have to deal with real cold.  On Facebook, people from Santa Rosa are frequently scoffed at for complaining when temps dip into the thirties.

I looked up the temps at ride time for a few locations where I have friends who would love to be out riding.  In Peterborough, NH it was 23 and snowing.  In Spokane, WA it as a brisk 10 degrees.  My friend in Whitefish, MT was dealing with a predicted high of 20 and snow.  Yeah, we really can’t bitch too much about 39 degrees with clear blue skies and lots of sunshine.

I also like the bad ass factor of riding in the cold.  I love it on Mondays in the office when someone walks up and says, “It’s too bad it was too cold to ride this weekend!”, and I reply that of course I went for a ride.  I always get one of two responses and I love them both.  They’ll either say that I’m insane or that I’m a bad ass. 

To be honest, the real reason I like riding in the cold, especially group rides, is that I think they’re just fun!  I always have a blast on these rides and Saturday’s team ride was no different.  

The ride was designed as a social winter fun ride that went from The Flying Goat in Healdsburg to Plank in Cloverdale (these are both really cool coffee shops).  As we drank coffee at the Goat, we started trash talking everyone who bailed as we convinced ourselves that it wasn’t really that cold outside.  Then, it was time to roll.

As we head out, we all stay to together in a tight bunch for the first part of the ride.  I assume this is the cycling equivalent to cuddling to stay warm.  As we enjoyed our coffees and pastries at Plank, a rider broke out his flask of something special, which we all knew he had with him, and we drank toast to our warm weather friends still at home.  We spent the entire ride chatting, joking, laughing. and perhaps trash talking just a bit.  In a word, we had a blast!!!

There you have it!  A little homage to my friends stuck on trainers in their basement in places with a real winter, a little bad ass factor to enhance my insane/badd ass reputation, and a whole lot of fun with friends.  So, let the temperature drop, I’m riding my bike!


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