The last time I had pedaled my bike for any other purpose other than getting to and from places was that little gathering we had in Fort Collins called the USGP. Wednesday was my first day heading out for a proper ride. Despite the fact that I got end of the semester assignments, and finals looming over my head, when the thermometer reads 50 in December, its time to head out for a ride. But before I get to that, this is what happened in between the USGP and my ride. Unlike Dirty, I opted to headed towards the Great White North, cycling was the last thing on my mind.
I left early to try and avoid the worst part of a storm in MT, whats that old saying, “Red skies in the morn, sailors take warn”. As I crossed into Wyoming, the thermometer dropped below 30 degrees, an indication of the cold waiting for me in Montana. I got to Montana, and hit the storm, I would have taken a picture, but after I passed the second car that had flipped onto its roof, I decided it would be better to concentrate on driving.
Montana greeted me like the cruel mistress that she is, with open arms, beautiful landscapes, and “beardsicle” inducing cold. It was single digits down in town, but in the teens up at the nordic center in the mountains outside of town … go figure. Playing in the winter wonderland with two planks attached to my feet was a joy I had forgotten. Only one thing to do after getting the ski on, head to some hot springs for soaking, drinking, card playing, and relaxation.
The “poor man’s refrigerator” seemed like a good idea at the time, until the overnight sub zero temperatures of the Paradise Valley, froze the window shut. The look on my face must have been similar to Bluto’s in Animal House when The Delta House is getting repo’d and the movers dropped the case of booze. Luckily elbow grease prevailed, and the alcohol was saved.
I was thankful for the apple pie produced with the special ingredient of “ginger power”. While my thanks continued, the break from life, responsibilities, and school had to come to and end. Which brings me to yesterday, someone suggested a ride, the sun was warm, so the only decision to really make was which bike to ride. I chose my geared road bike, because when it comes to riding bikes in December, that “D” stands for “do whatever the fuck you want.” For the past year my road bike has mostly served the purpose of collecting dust in whatever corner I left it in.
Five left, heading west, for the first twenty minutes I was like a fish out of water remembering how to work my shifters.
According to the sign, we got our “12% climb” on, more than once. Other highlights included riding through a twisting narrow canyon, which is one of my favorite things to do on the pavement. With the 14 mile trip back to town left, I became the nail, I watched the group of more fit, less fat guys simply ride away. With my head hung in shame, my pride in shambles, and my legs not having anything resembling strength, I pedaled my ass home. My reward for the ride was a burger, and Budweisers, a magic potion that can turn any life situation from bad to good. Happy drinking, Happy riding, and Happy life.by