Monday, February 7, 2011

Cool Weather

For a while there, one winter, Charles Garcia and I did a sort of commute together, while we were both working at Destinations.  I say "sort of" commute, because it was a training ride for Charles and a commute for me.

Charles would drive from his house to the bike shop, then ride his bike toward my house.  I would ride from my house toward the bike shop.  When we met, Charles would turn around and we'd ride to the coffee shop for a latte, then on to work.

Charles was in his "hard-man" phase, constantly training for cyclocross, doing hill repeats, or sprints, or something.  I, as usual, was just riding my bike.  The portion of the ride where we rode together was good for both of us:  He slowed down a bit and enjoyed the ride, and I rode a bit harder than usual.  So, we both stepped outside our normal zone for a little bit.

One thing that was a constant for both of us, however, is that neither of us would ever want to be the one who didn't show one morning.  If we arranged the ride on Tuesday, then we were both riding, come Hell or high water, on Wednesday morning.  I think each of us thought of it as a bit of a competition, to see who would eventually crack and let rain or cold weather cancel us out.

I really figured I was going to win that particular competition, one cold, clear morning after  I got up, and checked the indoor/outdoor thermometer, as usual, to help me figure out what to wear.

Holy cow!  It was 20 degrees below zero (F) on my front porch, at 7:00 AM!

So, I put on everything I owned, and took off, pretty certain that I would make it to the coffee shop by myself.  I noticed, as I rode, that the bike felt odd.  At that temperature, the grease in the hubs, bottom bracket, and headset is thick, and the cables drag in the housing.  Even the chain felt odd.

I was surprised, but only mildly, to see Charles riding toward me, at the usual place.  We joined up, and Charles said to me, "I didn't really expect to see you, today."

"Yeah, me too," I said.

When we got to the coffee shop, conversation stopped as we walked in.  Both of us had ice in our beards, and on our eyelashes.  The people who had driven in were all agog that we had ridden in the crazy cold temperature.

To tell you the truth, so were we.  It ended up being a nice day for a ride, though.

x

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