If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period. This according to The Velominati rule 9.
According to the list of rules, this might be my favorite. Just behind Rule 5 of course. http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/. If you’ve ever found yourself on a bike in extreme conditions you embrace that rule. And quite frankly, you know that the word “badass” could easily be swapped out with a number of other words. Bonehead, dimwit, moron, idiot or any number of even more colorful descriptors usually reserved for those lacking any sort of common sense, that might keep one indoors when unfavorable comes calling. But unfortunately for my self and my son, in regards to our cyclocross intentions, common sense isn’t all that common.
Only 2 miles from home, the sky growled and the angry bolt strikes surrounded us. They test us and motivate us to go harder. The conditions were unsettling but there was little choice. Then the downpour. Generally, I like a refreshingly random rain ride but there was a feisty anger in this morning’s drenching that marked an ominous cap to an oddly eventful 6 a.m. ride. When I got home and sat down my chamois pad squished beneath me and released what seemed like a quart of gritty water onto the floor below me. I looked over at my shoes and a quarter-inch of water had pooled in the bottom of each one. I could swear there were a couple of minnows swimming and calling my Specialized road shoes their new home. I just hoped my iPhone managed to stay dry enough to keep from shorting out. Sometimes, you just take what is given to you.
Sometimes the perfect birthday gift is something you cannot buy. In this case it was the perfect early spring day for a road ride. Forty five degrees, and a mid afternoon sun that warmed the cheeks and nose. All while simultaneously being challenged by a sharp little headwind that tested our legs on an early season scoot. My cycling sensei felt this perfectly stark backdrop captured the spirit of our day’s ride.
As usual he was right.
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.