In the book The Beasts of Tarzan, (stay with me...I'm going to get to cycling here) our hero is able, by the force of his will, to control the savage apes of the tribe of Akut and Sheeta the panther and to prevent them from unleashing their bestial fury on the good people around him. I mention this, because I have experienced the modern day equivalent of this.
Riding uphill and into a headwind (I know, it sounds like I’m always riding uphill and into a headwind…funny how that works) I spotted a lady who had pulled into her driveway and stopped to check her mail. Her two dogs were streaking across the yard toward me, the hapless cyclist, clearly aiming for the point where their paths would intersect mine. At that moment this woman, a jewel among women, stopped both of those dogs dead in their tracks with a single word. (That word, in case you’re wondering, was Stop.) Both dogs froze and simply watched in helpless frustration as I sailed on by. Lucky me.
It was cold.
Well, it was 59. That sure seems cold, especially when you get moving in the bike and add in some wind. I had forgotten how hard it is to ride when you start adding on the cold weather gear. This time it was winter socks, light weight tights (if it’s okay for Batman, I guess it’s okay for me), underarmour (which is not as useful for a superhero as it sounds from the name) and my good old winter Walz cap with the earflaps.
(I was once told, by someone who had never seen a German school boy, that the cap made me look like one. This was later refuted by someone who had not only seen plenty of German school boys but had, in fact, been a German school boy. I guess you can’t get more authoritative than that.)
The route was pretty much square (a lot like me, really), and the wind was a major factor. The northward leg was terrible. The eastward leg was worse. Then I turned south and starting thinking, “Hey, this isn’t so bad”, and when I turned west, I was flying. At least the wind remained steady and didn’t flip flop on me. Don’t you love it when you start out going into the wind and wind switches direction so you also end up going into the wind?
When it's cold out, it's hard to get on the bike and ride, even though I know that, once I get going, I'll warm up and it will be fine (assuming that I remember to bring my full fingered gloves and that I can remember to get to the store and buy some new Toasty Toes.) (Yes, Toasty Toes. Don't blame me. I didn't come up with the name.)
Now, presented as a time saving service, what follows now is the short version of this post for those of you who didn't have time to read the long version:
...It was cold. I rode. I didn't get attacked by dogs...
Hmm. It occurs to me that putting the time saving version at the end of the long version was not the best possible arrangement.
Oh, well. Too late now.