Posts tagged ‘winter cycling’
the continuing tale …
I figured it was about time for an update on the #330daysofbiking tally. The official numbers as of today: have ridden 287 of the past 317 days.
And I am happy to report that my legs haven’t fallen off. Yet. 😉
While I never really find it a problem to be motivated to keep riding and ticking off the days for this #330daysofbiking business, I will admit that my daily mileage has taken a bit of a nose-dive lately. It’s been more commuting trips and riding close to home over the past week or so, rather than some nice long road rides. I will blame it in part on some crappy weather (cold and rainy), and in part on yarn. Yes, yarn.
I’ve suffered from a recent bout of knititis, and when it’s rainy and grey outside, I find that I’d rather be inside with some alpaca-merino “comfort yarn” and a cup of tea by the fire than outside with frozen fingers and a wet camera on my bike. It’s just how I am.
But this is not to say that there hasn’t been some nice riding lately – because we have had a few beautiful days. And when the sun pops out and the skies turn blue, not even a tempting skein of pink yarn can keep me inside.
It is winter. And not really. We’ve had a stretch of crazy warm days, with the thermometer reaching into the upper 60’s F. It’s the stuff of riding in shorts, in short sleeves, of walking outside barefoot. A ride past my neighbor’s field and the song of (too-)early Spring Peepers. Vanishing memories of the snow of recent days past.
The warm weather makes me restless. Feelings of wanderlust, longing for variation in the routine … metamorphosis, transformation. Not exactly sure why.
Maybe in a few days it will snow, and I will return to normal (whatever that is)?
The snow stuck around longer than most people expected, thanks to some nice cold temps. It was some amazingly beautiful riding – cold, sunny, snow on the ground. The kind of weather that stirs my blood. Too often, I find that I want to spend the entire day outside messing around – on my bike, with the camera and a coffee stop or two. And then the responsibilities of real life throw a detour sign in the road, and I find it unavoidable to have to park the bike and get on with it.
The past week was one of those detours – even though I was riding every day, the daily focus was on “the other stuff”. The mundane things like appointments and errands that had been put off a little too long. Projects at home that needed attention, trips that required me to use a car. Sigh.
I’ve had a few days this week where the riding was barely more than a 15 minute spin up the road, but I’ve come to really appreciate that benefit, that reward, of #330daysofbiking over the months. Taking the time, no matter how brief it may be, to get outside and pedal around away from the other necessary things – a detour in itself – is the great equalizer, the balance to the mundane.
As I write this today, the snow has almost all disappeared. And I miss it. I still have a sizable to-do list of non-cycling things to detour me during the next few weeks, but I’m always glad for the daily reward of #330daysofbiking. The official count as of today: have ridden 270 of the past 299 days, 66 days remain.
sun and snow
In my book, there is nothing, nothing, more beautiful than being outside on a cold, sunny day with snow on the ground. I think it is my idea of heaven.
I felt like I was riding in CO today … temps in the 20’s, the warmth of the sun, hills and fields covered in snow, brilliant blue sky and the beautiful blue snow shadows. I know that this little wonderland can’t – won’t – last much longer, but I am loving every moment and can barely make myself head back inside at the end of the day.
Day 260 – definitely on my top 10 list of #330daysofbiking.
come ride with me …
Confession: videographer I am not, but today while riding with my little Lumix, I accidentally switched the mode dial to the video capture mode … and decided, hey – this might not be a bad idea? So here is a chance for you to ride along with me – for a few minutes, anyway. One of these days I will re-attempt with a real video camera, but for now, at least you will get the idea (and get to see a few barns flying by) 😉
You may not believe me, but it really was a perfect day to be out on a bike. There was still virtually no traffic due to the recent snow-panic, yet the roads had started to clear and were easily ridable. The landscape was quiet and beautiful with snow, the temperatures were comfortably moderate in the mid-30’s, and I loved having the hushed roads all to myself.
As the salt trucks had been slowly making their way through the county, I decided to ride my old mountain-turned-commuter bike, in case things were really messy. For the most part, however, I was surprised at how well things had cleared up. Yet this hasn’t stopped the schools from declaring yet another Snow Day for tomorrow…
I have to confess that I will hate to see it all melt away. I could get very used to this nice combination of cross-country skiing and cycling each day. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll get at least another day or two before it all vanishes.
The old barns (& bicycle pics) are here to stay, though. Oh well.
I’ve been enjoying spending the recent days riding with “my boys”. Some days it requires a little coercion – when the weather is cold and grey, or when they’ve been up until 4 am watching movies and playing video games with the usual suspects (i.e., Matt, Tim and Boaz).
We actually had a day or two when the temps were unseasonably warm – into the mid-sixties, and warm enough to ride in shorts. Now the forecast is back to normal winter stuff, including the likelihood of some snow in the next few days.
I always find it kind of ironic that I don’t see more people cycling here during winter. I’m not sure what keeps them off of their bikes? Our temperatures are really pretty moderate, most of the time above 30’F during the day. Add a skull cap, some gloves and layers of clothing, and I really like riding during this time of year. (And I love that I don’t arrive everywhere a dripping ball of sweat). The landscape is so … muted, peaceful. Shades of dun and buff, silhouettes of tree limbs, and beautiful low light.
Even the boys admit that once they get out there, it’s always worth it.
As of today, the official #330daysofbiking count stands as follows: have ridden 253 of the past 283 days, 84 days remain.
In a few days, the boys will all head back to school … meanwhile, I am loving every minute of our being able to ride together.
#330daysofbarns (and cows)
One of my twitter friends recently mentioned (jokingly, I am sure) that there had been a conspicuous absence of old barns in my recent posts. So, for @dauphin87 and anyone else who isn’t bored to tears of rural landscapes, old barns and Holsteins … this one is for you.
#330daysofbiking update: have ridden 240 of the past 263 days … 90 days to go.
the cranes have arrived
Over the past few days there has been too much wind, rain and stormy-ness in general to ride with my camera. So, of course, today I probably over-did it (photo-wise — sorry). But the sun was shining, there were some really nice puddles leftover from the storm, and best of all … the Sandhill Cranes have arrived!
I confess that I have a huge fascination with these birds. We are fortunate to live along their migratory path and near one of their gathering spots along the Hiwassee River and Wildlife Refuge. Each winter, they fly overhead by the tens of thousands, stopping to rest and feeding on leftover grains and corn in the winter fields. There are days when I’ve watched and listened to them flying overhead, hundreds and hundreds of them for several hours at a time, sounding their unusual rattling trumpet-call.
Remarkably, they can live for up to 20 years. They mate for life, and migrate south each winter with their offspring. The are beautiful and impressive to see up-close as well as in the air – and to ride along on my bike with them, and pass them in the fields … it’s is a special experience for me that I can’t explain well. They fascinate me.
Each season on a bike has it’s own rewards. Today’s “Riding-With-Cranes” was definitely one of them.
(…. and the rest of the bike photos from the day 😉 )