One thing that sticks out in my mind while mounting my bike on lovely Iowa mornings such as this is how many times I hear a phrase of this sort:
Are you riding your bike in this weather? It’s raining out!
Yes. It is raining out. Am I put off by it? Only because I wish it was snow. Yes. I am riding my bike in this weather. Why wouldn’t I? I have expended quite an effort to properly equip myself for just about any conditions and the thought that I should not utilise the gear which I have gathered is, to me, laughable. Bikes are a wonderful thing in the fact that they are adaptable to just about any riding style, weather, ground condition, etc. Riding in poor weather conditions isn’t some kind of heroic effort worthy of wicked high fives from the four-wheeled masses, but is a gift for some, a neccessity for others, and just plain rad to experience.
I am not writing this to tell the tens out there reading that you shouldn’t strike up a conversation about why a person is riding their bike in inclimate weather. Actually, I have no idea what the heck I was saying. Still be impressed with those out there doing it every day, but also use them as an example instead of an exhibit. YOU TOO can get on a bike in the rain, the snow, the sleet, although you may want to skip blizzards and tsunamis as they are just plain dangerous to begin with. What do you have to gain besides some astonished faces staring back at you? The exact same benefits you would reap in sunny, warm weather. Sure, you might spend more time getting suited up. Yes, some days you will be soaking wet and miserable. I look at it like this: if I had to run from my house to get into a car anyway, why not just be outside and deal with it for real? Why sit around the house all winter thinking about all the fun you had on your bike during the “riding season”? Get yourself some fenders, some warm/dry clothing, and ride your damn bike.
If you have any questions as to how you should go about getting properly equiped, feel free to ask me…or any of the other “crazies” you see out there riding their bikes.
Extra “Real Bikers Pedal” statement: Let’s see the average Harley rider break out the hog in sub-freezing temperatures just to go for a fun ride with friends.
I got in. I am officially on the roster for the Trans Iowa V8, a 300+ mile gravel race which starts in Grinell, Iowa on April 28, 2012. This is an exciting development as I have been talking about this monster for a few years, but never put my postcard where my mouth is and stepped up to the plate. That has all changed.
Back a few months ago when I was still in the beloved Pink House and had just become its sole occupant I decided to make some changes, start a new blog (as if I need another), and begin training for TIV8 with hopes of losing some weight and gaining some more legs. Yeah, that didn’t happen. It seems that my goals were about as lost as Doug in The Hangover. I just looked at the “other blog” and noticed that it had been almost two months since its waters were last piddled in, weighed myself and saw that I am still at my record-breaking weight, and tried to recall if I had done any “training” since my move into town…other than drunkenly pedal my ass up MacRae park hill for pass-out time. Nope. Life has not been conducive to taking care of myself, but that’s all right. There is always a time for beggining, and a beggining is a delicate thing.
Random skipping around point: here is a trailer for an upcoming documentary about the Trans Iowa race filmed during V7 in April of 2011. This will give you an idea of what the race is all about (hint:hills, mud, gravel, hills, hills).
So I killed off the “other blog” today and will be tracking my progress here (at this point “tracking my progress”=whining about how I am failing at my goal)
Here is the last post from the dead blog for you enjoyment:
Well, the two people out there who may pass through here for whatever reason, I am officially on the Trans Iowa V8 roster, #50 out of 100. Smack dab in the creamy center. I had some great intentions with starting this blog, but I think that I will move this to my original/actual cycling blog location, CyclistNotBiker. I will talk less about diet and specifics of my fatness reduction and more about riding, but who really gives a fuck anyway? The important part is that this training-ish thing gets documented and that I am making good on my promise to myself to take this event seriously. I am also trying to make up for a piss poor year of blogging, and starting a new blog when I already am responsible for so many, a few of which really never get any attention. That’s right, 2012…you are hearing what the beginning of every year human kind has occupied the planet. You are currently “next year” and “next year” is always the year everyone is going to make things happen. At least it’s good for a laugh when looking back.
It’s been a very strange year, this 2011. Looking to the future for peace, answers, and stability (and back to some serious saddle time) is definitely a symptom of the human condition. I, for one, will work hard at bettering mine: Mentally, Physically, Emotionally, to live a more peaceful, fulfilling live surrounded by family, friends, a shit ton of gravel, and a few less snacks.
Here’s to the future, only 136 days left until the “Meat Up” in Grinell, Iowa.