23 January, 2010

Saved gas, froze my arse off...

The weather wasn't supposed to be that warm up here at 8,800 feet but I didn't want to get in my truck to ride down the hill to ride where it's about 10° warmer on average. It would be 45 minutes of driving if I did that and I wanted to save my gas. I busted out the big guns of warm weather gear: fleece lined windproof tights and my mostly neoprene jacket (replete with neoprene booties and gloves and head covering). My driveway has various stages of dirt, ice, and hardpacked snow where our vehicles roll over so I cherry picked my route out of there on my road bike to get out on highway 285. The Colorado Dept of Transportation does a great job scraping the white stuff off the roads and I had no problems with icy patches or slush up here. I never think of how quickly the mercury dips when you descend with your very own self-induced wind chill and I said to myself as I was rolling down the ridge where I live self, you is stupid, son. As I rolled down Aspen Park the bank's time and temp display read 34° F (1° C). Not a good omen to begin the ride.
My route today was City View in reverse. Mostly climbing route, pretty steep so the climbs warmed me up but I was not looking to any of the descents that would take me back to 285 for my one and a half hour loop. Any more time than that and I would've probably called sweet Melissa to pick my frostbitten self up! Of course I was the only out on the road today at this elevation and my face was so cold I rode no-handed (on the descents) with both my hands covering my face so I wouldn't get facial frostbite. Bought a nice, heavy kevlar lined clincher tire, 700X25 to roll over the winter road debris so as not to get a repeat of last weekend's flat-fest. The ride was uncomfortably cold and the climb was difficult and laborious. I tried to not stand during the climbs to get the legs nice and taxed. No endurance, no snap but that's okay. Not wanting to overdo it; just base, quasi-climbing miles. That's what my body needs to get ready for race season (if I'm racing in the south pole!). The temperature was 28° F (-2° C) when I returned home. In addition to that, a cord of wood was waiting for me to pitch it out the delivery truck and to stack it. It was Grandpa's hook up that got us the wood (our neighbor Genaro) so I went to his house to return the favor of pitching it into a pile. After Melissa and the kids stacked our wood when I was at Grandpa's I did some hunting and gathering of kindling around our property and took the handsaw with me to cut the long branches in order to fit inside our firebox. Yup, riding and getting our ducks in order to make this winter comfortable. So far so good in that it's not a record-breaking winter like years past. January's almost done and we're getting ready for a cold February. March is the month I'm biting my nails over. The heavy snows always snap power lines and we're going to be electricity-less (including the pump for our well) for multiple days-that's going to suck! It was a day spent burning calories in a way that included cycling and keeping old man winter at bay. After dinner time it's tennis with my kids on the Wii!!!

Sunday and we're doing preventive winter catastrophe and de-cluttering the house. I go out and finish gathering and stockpiling more kindling and cutting it up for the next round. As a luxury I'm ripping LPs onto my iTunes. Here's what I'm ripping onto my laptop: Def Leppard's High 'n' Dry, Asia's eponymous LP, Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays' As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls, and The Stray Cat's built for speed. Pretty much the stuff I listened to when I was in High School. No cycling today. Temps too cold and much too windy to do anything good other than crash or get frostbite. Maybe rollers in the morning?
this is the weather for Sunday (and the rest of the week), today...
7-Day Forecast for Conifer

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