Terii’s Cycling Babble


More Miserable Than It Looked
February 7, 2012, 2:43 pm
Filed under: Day Rides

Brrrr. Hard to see but it's snowing.

That sums up this ride. Thankfully, it was short.

The past few days, Loke has been a huge PITA. Woke us up one morning at 4:30 am for no apparent reason. No need to pee or other. Then remained a pest for the entire rest of the day.

Though he let us sleep in this morning, he’s been a bother for most of today too. Thankfully, the bitter arctic blast we’ve had freezing this part of the country solid for the past week broke. I woke to an almost tropical 22 F. Much better than -7 F. Around 1 pm, it was nearly 28 F. With the fuzzy one harassing me, I began to pull on my thermals and get everything ready to go out the door for at least the river loop with extension.

It’s occurred to me how much the change of clothing has shifted my attitude toward cycling. While I wasn’t running out the door last week in below 20 F digits, once it’s around 25 F, I actually consider going for a ride. Those thick, snuggly thermals have given me another 20 degrees to consider riding in. Before, if it was much below 40 F, I’d balk. Now, it’s more a question of how deep the snow is (or if it’s raining) rather than temp. At least until it gets into the extremes.

Loke was in a frenzy of hysterical joy as I dressed, put on his harness and began carrying things out.

The snow was well packed on the roads and paths along the route, so I had no fear for my chain and derailleur. Loke did his usual leap into the mad charge for the first mile. Even though I was wearing only two layers (bullet proof thermals under lycra) I felt fine.

Before that first mile finished though, things changed. By the time I came to the school about half a mile from the apartment, I began to feel the soft touch of cold wet points on my cheeks. At first I thought it was my right tire starting to throw up ice. It turns out I was half right. Some of it was ice cast up by the wheel. Some of it was tiny grains of snow, rather like sand blowing in on a rather stiff north wind.

By a mile and a half, the tire began to throw up more ice like crazy. My glove began to gather a hard crust of it. Worse, from temple to hip on the right side started to collect its share. The absolute worst was on the neck. The bitter cold from the ice caught a direct path to my brain via the carotid artery. Direct brainfreeze. Fortunately, I had my face mask in my panniers. It did wonders to protect my neck, cheeks and ears, though my glasses (and eyes) and everything below my collarbones was out of luck.

The falling snow thickened, driven on the playful wind and pushed harder by my speed. Some of the snow melted and began to refreezing meaning even the spandex top couldn’t shed it any more.

I’ll admit, I was tempted to cut the trip to a measly 3 miles. Looking at Loke, I found myself unable to do so. Even though it was just the River Loop with extension, he was so happy. He had that tongue lolling husky grin I’ve been seeing so much of in the pictures Loke’s breeder posts on Facebook every few days. His fur on the left side of his chest was frosted with the same ice I was getting coated with as he loped along, trying to pull the trike faster. He’s been deprived so much in the way of food, I couldn’t do the same for a run. I sucked it up while feeling guilty we weren’t doing something like Ulva/G. Uppsala or Börje for more distance.

Just outside our apartment, I had a short chat with one of our neighbors. She has a tiny little dog that is a Chinese crested/chihuahua cross who often greets Loke. She was more than glad to stop and hug on the fuzzy one as he bounced around, apparently very happy to see her. My guess is, he was begging for some of the bread from the local bakery she had with her. *smirk* She was very impressed at our distance in such weather. She was even more so when I told her about the ride a while back that was over twice the distance.

It felt soooooooo good to stagger into the apartment with the trike, shuck off the ice stiffened clothing. To shake off the slight chill and brighten my mood, I heated milk for some of the wonderful orange hot chocolate mix my perfectly wonderful husband bought special for me from a coffee shop. They don’t usually sell the mix, probably because people don’t ask for it, but my husband did ask because I loved it so much the last time we were there. It was definitely the perfect end to an otherwise rather miserable ride.

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