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I like to ride stupid at least once a year. That was yesterday.


November 2020

I wanted to ride my mountain bike so bad I could feel the grips in my hands before I rolled out of bed. It’s a rare day I’m hankering for that bike, so I wanted with everything I had for the forecast to be wrong.

Rain rolling in at 7am, possibly snow… and the temp was 2° above freezing (1 C). At 7:30 it started snowing, lightly though. Just flurries. A few calls between friends and we prepped to roll out, hoping it would stay flurries. We were on the damp road at 8:30, but the dirt wasn’t that bad at all. And I was in all my glory.

My wife had to ride her mountain bike because I messed her gravel bike up trying to fix a bent chainring (it came like that, very long story). I’d had it pretty close but had to get it perfect… alas I went too far and now the pros will have to fix it. Point is, there was no way I was going to ride my gravel bike while my wife had to ride her mountain bike, anyway. At 8 miles my wife said, “You guys are freaking nuts. I’m taking my toy and going home.”

She wasn’t wrong. It was nasty.

A little on the slow side, but fun.

As we rode on the snow intensified and it seemed like all of a sudden the roads went from “not too bad” to straight up “baby $#!+”. We had snow caked on us from head to toe – actually, that says a lot about our gear when you think about it – if snow can stick to the outside of your clothing, there isn’t much heat escaping. With just over a mile left Chuck made a joke about Mike looking like he had an “ass-splosion”. I chimed in with a crack about being on the wrong end of a bean burrito. We were a mess and our bikes were absolutely smoked and grinding all sorts of grit. We were a sight.

I’d pushed it as hard as I could after my wife turned off early and turned that 10.8 average into 12 by the time we rolled onto my paved road. I was soaked to the bone, but from the inside. Now I remember why we bought those gravel bikes in the first place. That bike is work.

I didn’t even bother going inside. I took my bike straight back to the hose and rinsed it down before taking it inside to dry if off and clean and lube everything. I had to strip off my outer layer before my wife would let me in the front door. Her top layer lay in a heap on the floor, puddles formed under the tires on the wood floor.

We had a lazy day, watching it snow, and life was good. Every once in a while I like to ride stupid. Too often would get old, especially with the maintenance. Once or twice a year, though, makes me feel young and dumb again. That’s definitely a good thing.


  1. Toss your bike computer for the rest of the year. This is the time of the year when miles don’t matter, only having fun on the bike outside. Take this from a fat old man who rides only for the fun of it now

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