When I drove out to pick up my kids from their mid winter activities tonight I looked out across the neighbor’s front yard. The street light was shining and a sheen glistened over a glossy frozen crust that had developed over the snow that had been sitting there for the past 2 months. Actually it was quite beautiful and even a bit appetizing. Like glazed vanilla icing over a freshly baked Krispy Creme doughnut. But, still in it’s mouth-watering beauty it was a reminder of the cold winter that had pummeled me. For the last 3 months it might have affected me as a slightly disheartening reality. Not tonight. Tonight it was merely a gift.
A natural wonder and reminder of Old Man Winter’s breath as he has blown his cold at us, that has burrowed through our clothes, gnawed at our exposed skin, and kicked our ass for all but a few days throughout the last 3 months. Long standing snowbanks and ice sheets have made riding the road unpleasant and unsafe. The cold made the fat bike rides less than enjoyable as single digits are manageable in small doses but are not a good way to face daily workouts. And it forced us to be even more familiar with our despised yet necessary piece of equipment – the trainer.
But tonight I did not care. It is the 4th of March in the midwest, and yes, weather wise anything here is possible. But one thing is clear. Winter has only a small, short, limited life left in it.
Tomorrow’s forecast is 14 degrees, and most likely the last sub 20 degree day before a steady increase in temps that will hopefully lead us to the 50’s mid next week. A 45 degree temperature shift. Soon the ice will clear. Any coming rains will rinse the road salt away and leave the potholed road, open, clean and somewhat dangerously inviting. A fresh surface for me to get out for my first post surgery road season. This spring my rides will have a new value and purpose that will hopefully be matched with my increase in efforts, recovery and performance. It has been over a year since I have been able to dedicate myself to time on the road bike with my riding partners and teammates. And I have never looked more forward to it.