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Oh How I Love Cycling in the Northern Midwest

February 2018
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We waited till noon to ride, to give it a chance warm up. Freezing isn’t terrible but it was supposed to warm up a bit. Sadly, the weather rarely listens to the Weather Channel.

We rolled out, just my wife, Chuck and me, into a freaking gnarly cross-headwind. Two miles later and we were into the teeth of it. Chuck said, 30 seconds after making the turn, “What are we doin’ out here?” I knew why, of course, but the idea of staying out there still seemed a little stupid. Three miles in and we were questioning our sanity. Not good, because we’re a hearty people in Michigan…

Four miles, well maybe five, and we were starting to warm up a little and from that point, even though we were into the wind for another seven miles, I didn’t care a bit… even in temps below freezing and the wind whipping a little bit, it was still better than the trainer.  I had my trademark smile on and it felt fantastic.

If you’ve ever spent an inordinate amount of time on a trainer, you’re aware that there’s a period of adjustment when you finally hit pavement – it almost feels like you’re riding with squishy tires because your balance is so far off.  I love that feeling, if it is a little disconcerting at first.  I looked down at my rear tire more than once and smiled each time.

I stopped looking at my computer somewhere around nine miles.  I was smack in the middle of one of those “Oh my God, I can’t believe I’m outside on my bike, I’m so happy vibes.  I get them a lot, they’re why I ride a bike, but nothing beats those “beginning of the season – I’m finally free” feelings.  We rolled into Chuck’s subdivision barely shy of 24 miles.  By the time we hit his driveway it was 24.02 miles.

We packed up, said our goodbyes and headed out.  I hadn’t even changed out of my cycling clothes and I was already looking forward to today’s ride…  Unfortunately, this being Michigan, we got a couple of inches of snow last night.  There’s a chance that it’ll burn off this afternoon so all we can do is wait and see if we’ll ride or not.  The temp is supposed to be favorable and it’s supposed to be sunny – there’s a chance.



  1. theandyclark says:

    I have a colleague who is training for a 170 mile cross Florida day trip in April Last weekend he spent 5 hours on a trainer at his gym. When he got off he was down 5 pounds in spite of lots of hydration, and the floor under him was white.

    I found myself awed and thinking “better thee than me” at the same time.

  2. And here I thought I was nuts!! LOL.

  3. I guess I will have to live vicariously through you. After going to bed at 2:30 AM last night (don’t ask, but she is very worth it), spending 3 hours parking cars in the church lot this morning in 20 something degree cloudy weather, I felt more like couch than road bike saddle today. My friend John, who had knee replacement surgery at the beginning of this year, was out both yesterday and today. You guys rock!

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