Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Just Riding Along...

Discovered after I got home from a 4hr+ ride (including coffee commute beforehand of course) with Matt, involving, let's see, from Hideaway Bakery:

up Fox, down McBeth, up Lorane to Blanton, up Blanton, down Crest to Lorane, up Lorane over to McLean, up that, across and down Timberline, up Hawkins, back down McLean and over Chambers, back down Lorane to Mcbeth, up McBeth, down Fox, up over Dillard to other side and back over again into town. About the last 90 min included sketchy shifting introduced by this nice piece. I'm amazed it held.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday in Iambic pentameter

The morning woke to a cold winter shudder
Cold freezing fog my lenses did cover
Descending Fox Hollow shivering cold
To visit the family I did go.

Warm cups of coffee and cinnamon rolls
Woke up our spirits as gifts they did show
Themselves from under the tree where we
Sat all around, faces pictures of glee.

Noon came and went, our stomachs they rumbled
Amongst bits of papers torn and crumpled
With purpose then to the kitchen we went,
Shoved in the oven a goose that was spent.

We feasted once more like good people should
To show ourselves that when we could, we would
We tipped back some bubbly and toasted the year
Filling ourselves with good holiday cheer.

Night came too soon as happens in winter
And soon the festive group it did splinter
To home and towards beds that we each had made
All warm and full, maybe in a slight daze.

Pedaling home, feet turning slow circles
Darkness around, nose turning purple
I spied two figures under a small bridge
Like a ghost in the night towards them I slid.

As I got closer I thought I could hear
A sound from under some cans of their beer
Where a small radio broadcasted low
A song about reindeer, frost, and the snow.

Under the bridge with no light and no heat
Two people swayed to their own special beat
Without geese or beds, simple or fancy
Gave to each other gifts of their dancing.

And though we pass as simple observers
Others who live without our fine fervor
Remember that luck is not a birthright
Give thanks to that which keeps you warm tonight.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Are we done yet?

Cold snap over. Rain back.

The transition brought freezing rain on Friday that started to hit my back as I pedaled home from a long spin and turned the roads into ice sheets by dark. Saturday morning, all ice, no bike, big suck. Warm enough to ride by dark but instead found 2 hrs of mind numbing trainer time while watching "March of the Penguins". Bad idea. Next time I'm watching Kung Fu, Drama, News, Romance, anything but Penguins. Anything.

Just like we've done every damn weekend since October, we rode to Cottage Grove on Sunday. BVB, Matt, Mark, Myself. With the roads mostly clear we looped the loop, uneventul except for a half second of terror when BVB led us through an invisible ice patch at 25mph where I briefly engaged in a fishtail followed by a two wheel slide followed by loudly cursing Winter when the tires hit pavement again and traction returned. Thankfully I was mostly pointed straight when that happened and didn't buck off the bike. That would have been ironic - crashing the one bike I tend to crash a lot, the 'cross bike, on ice, in the first year since this whole riding thing started where I have completely failed to race or even practice 'cross at all.

Spring can't come fast enough.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

bundled and padded

I have sinned... for possibly the first time ever, I intentionally went on a long training ride without a helmet. Left it at home. Ditched it. Not out of some pursuit of Euro-trendiness - it simply wouldn't fit.

10F this morning when I woke up according to wunderground.com, and the web flashed to 8F for a few minutes before I took off to meet McKenzie on campus. On went the knickers, leg warmers, tights, wool socks, double shoe covers, shoe warmers, five layers of base and jerseys, jacket, skullcap, baclava, fleece lined wool hat, glove warmers, wool gloves, lobster gloves. My head gained a solid 4" in girth and failed to fit into my helmet. And dare I say, despite the temperature, I actually overdid it. One of the winter jersey layers came off shortly into the ride. Mckenzie did one better, shaking with cold so much that we had to ride back to his house so he could get two or three more layers on before we went out again.

Fall slid into the Oregon winter with little fanfare but a few weeks of sun and gradually increasing cloud cover. After a couple weeks off and short weeks in October things kicked back into gear right as fall term started to kick my ass, and the CSC rides have been gaining attendance again, at least on Saturdays. It's finally that time of year when the 'cross bug dies, roadies start buying Super Record and pre-season hammers get thrown on the Lorane - Cottage Gove climb.

In fact, from now until March the talk around town goes something like this:

(just for you guys at the CSC ride... you are welcome.)