One time at Thanksgiving at my sister-in-laws up in Nampa I was trying to ride a bit. Keep in shape, find some form, get the fuck out of the house – take your pick. It was a hazy bubble of fog/mist/cloud that followed me around as I rode. When I got way out into the farm land (and none of Nampa is far from wide open nothingness) the curtain closed behind me as fast as it opened before me. It was so cold that when I found a hill, and Nampa is a bit on the flat side of things, I’d ride it two or three times to try and get the feeling in my legs back.
My bottles froze. First a little ice on the sides and top, then more and more to where I couldn’t get hardly a drop to drink. It became a game, how much of this can I take? How hard am I?
I used to drive down from Moscow to the valley Lewiston and Clarkston lie in, so I could ride where it was ten degrees warmer and the roads weren’t iced up. Shit was awful. Windy and fucking freezing cold. I’d park by the bridge between Lewiston and Clarkston and start out with a quick jaunt the riverside bike path down towards Asotin. Once there I usually turned inland and poke around on Asotin Creek Road, Cloverland Road and State Route 129. Dear God, it was awful.
One time, back on one of those Godforsaken canyons, I rode pack a field where I cow had just been born. Nobody was around. Just me, the cold roadway, a fence and the cows. I clipped out and stood there as a young calf slowly wobbled around and it’s mother tended to a steaming pile of afterbirth. It was, in a word, surreal. One of those moments on the bike when you wonder what in the hell am I doing out here?
Another time, I climbed on of the aforementioned roads, I can’t remember which one, working my way up the winding switchbacks, and the light rain I felt down in Asotin turned to slow as I reached the cloud base. The snow built up on the sleeves of my jacket, a piece of shit windbreaker I picked up at some shit store in stupid ass Moscow, but it sufficient on that day. As long as I was climbing. I pretended I was Andy Hampsten on the Gavia as I bravely plowed forward toward glory. I rode past lonely barbed wire fences and endless windswept fields of grass without ever seeing one car. My bottles froze as the snow came down sideways. Then I turned around and froze my ass off all the way back down to the warmth of my waiting Buick in Lewiston. Days like that I hit up the Hardy’s drive thru for a hot roast beef sandwich before I drove back out of the valley.
Fuck it. Flagstaff isn’t cold. I can deal with this.
Tonight’s link dump:by