Friday, December 4, 2009

It Isn't Over Yet

I went to the bike shop today. I like going to the bike shop. I like seeming my friends. I like seeing all those rows and rows of gleaming bikes ready to hit the road. I even like the way a bike shop smells – an amalgam of metal, rubber, lube and who knows what else. Sweat, probably.

Despite my (ahem) limited riding schedule of late, I somehow managed to run out of chamois cream. I figured that, while I was there, I would also pick up some carb-boom (apple cinnamon if you really must know) and ogle all the lovely toys I couldn’t possibly afford to get.

Steve and Dave were both there. “Hey, do you remember this guy? Didn’t he used to ride with the club?”

That would be me. Did I mention my limited riding schedule already? I did, right? I thought so.

Looking at the chamois cream I laid on the counter, Steve asked, “Given how much you’ve been riding lately, does this stuff taste as good as everyone says it does?”

In the course of the conversation, the approaching end of the year came up. People are looking at closing out their mileage logs for the year and people (and, by people I mean me) are looking at their rather dismal mileage totals and vowing to do better next year. (Hey, If I can just get in a couple of thousand miles in the next three weeks, my mileage total for the year will look fine.)

So, what about you?

Do you live in one of those unforgivingly cold places, so your bike is already languishing in the garage? Or do you live in one of those luxuriously warm places that earn you the undying enmity of everyone who lives in one of those unforgivingly cold places, so you’re trying to figure what all the fuss is about? Or do you live in one of this in-between places – sure, it’s cold, but you can still ride.

(While we're on this topic, check out Cyclin' Missy's blog.)

Of course, but you can still ride is rather in the eye (legs?) of the beholder. I know people who will cheerfully (or grimly) ride when the temperature is in the thirties and other people who won’t put on lycra if the temperature dips into the sixties.

As for me, well, I just bought all that chamois cream. I guess I’ll have to use it somehow. (No suggestions, please.) I have two weeks off over Christmas, and I intend to see how many miles I can get before the year is over.

Weather permitting, of course. (Jörg says, “Don’t be a weather weenie.”)

Pretty soon it’ll be time to break out the winter cap with the ear flaps. I may look like a goof (and I was forced by circumstances to stop worrying about that a long time ago) but at least my ears won’t fall off.

See you on the road.


  1. Last weekend, I stopped at the bike shop to buy a huge can of my favorite chain lube. While I was at the counter, another patron and I were talking about the Iceman Cometh Challenge that had just taken place. It's a 28 mile point-to-point mountain bike ride in northern Michigan. Hearing this conversation, the shop manager told us both to wait while he ran in the back to retrieve two bottles of another type of chain lube for us to try for free. It's supposed to be great for the cold, wet weather. So now, like you with your chamois cream, with the "unforgiving cold" beginning to set in, I'm wondering when I'll get to use this overabundant supply of chain lube.

  2. It's not unforgiving until it's like 50 below... It's still "mild" in my book :o). Looking at -6 below tomorrow am, should be nice.