Learned this lesson: short rides during the cold, are better than no rides. I decided to take Queenie for a short spin on Sunday. Road about 50 miles before crying "Uncle" over the cold temps. Cold weather riding takes a lot out of you--as more demands are made on the body to stay warm. The temp wavered between 41 and 43 degrees F most of the time, which felt great as long as I was standing still. At 60 mph, let's just say it's more than a little chilly. A strong wind reminded me of the city's moniker, "The Windy City." Still, it was nothing like the 40 mph winds experienced a few back, which had me fighting to keep the bike upright. Still, Sunday had its share of humbling wind gusts now and again, especially while riding along LSD. Even with my helmet visor only slightly cracked, to prevent fogging of my supposedly “anti-fog visor,” my eyes teared from the whipping the wind served up.
Although my feet typically do not get cold, I wore the battery-operated socks. My feet were noticeably toasty-warm, perhaps, a bit too warm for my taste. Still having issues with my cold fingertips but that's my fault. Too lazy to hook up the ‘lectric gloves. I wasn’t out long enough, I felt, to warrant the extra effort. At the mid-way point, I stopped at Medici’s Bakery, to warm up with a cup of hot chocolate. I couldn’t resist the carrot muffins either.
When I enter the bakery, a young woman says, “That was you on that bike.” Affirmative. “Really, that was you?” Affirmative. “Wow, that’s amazing. That’s truly amazing—is it hard.” Negative. “It’s not hard, really?” Affirmative. “Wow, I think that’s something, you being a woman and all.” Such reactions are always a little surprising in 2006. She finally remembered to take my order. I should have taken a picture of the muffin—perfect in every way. The hot chocolate was yummy too. Just the right combo to warm numb fingers and get me "on the road again." I think I hear a little Willie Nelson...
Took LSD back and encountered some oily stretches on the curves that made me sit up and take immediate notice. Oil+curves+wind gusts make for an interesting, humbling, and challenging ride. Speed limit on LSD is 45mph. No one and I do mean NO ONE obeys that! Most often folks are driving 60. I’ve tried to do the speed limit only to anger drivers who then will cut closely in front of me or ride my collar! I am forced, therefore, I really am, to keep up with traffic or suffer the consequences. So, it was 60 mph all the way in.
Supposedly, a warm up is on the way with near 60 degree F on Turkey day. I’m thankful that I haven’t yet retired the bike. I plan to take to the road and give glorious “Thanks” in my own way. All I ask upon return is a hunka Sweet Potato pie and a cup of chamomile tea.