Today the weather was nasty. This record snow is getting on my nerves. Of all of the things I miss about the west, snow is not one of them. Even so, I am drawn to ride in it, probably because I am always trying to reconnect with the former me. I ventured out today following another snowstorm. Ironically, there was less snow in many places due to the fact that it rained all night. What was really odd was that places that were frozen lakes the day before were now massive puddles and areas that were small rivers were frozen.
Drawing from the past couple of days failures and experiences I hit the trails. The sun was out and the sky was blue. The only problem was the 25 m.p.h. wind gusts made it about 16 degrees. As I cranked my way around the mud, slush, and snow I felt the sense of freedom that comes with bicycles. I only got about 1 hour in, which turned out to be enough because everything began to freeze up.
Then I noticed everything was freezing up and my derailure pulleys quit spinning. Every drop of crud thrown up from my bike tires was freezing to my shifting cable. Then I noticed that my shoe was collecting slush and freezing. Then I noticed that my bottom bracket was frozen.
It is not often that this part of Virginia gets snowfall like this and it would have been a shame to pass it up. Upon completion I poured some water on my bike to try to wash the crud off. That just created another layer of ice. Then I poured it on my shoes to try to get the frozen slush off.
The solution is simple, high tech cycling gear in the form of grocery bags.
While I have spent an a fair amount of money on a nice jacket, gloves, and tights I neglected my feet. A problem with a simple solution which is reminiscent of my childhood in Montana. When the boots are soaked, use bread bags! Maybe I am not so soft.
There is fine line between hard and stupid! It is probably as ambiguous as my hairline.