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Cycling in Michigan (in any season but summer) 100% Chance of Being 6% Wet. Ride Anyway


November 2020

Trigger warning: If you don’t want to read about the mindless cycling stuff, the post comes together at the end for an excellent “life in recovery” message in the last two paragraphs. Skip down to that if you wish.

A single digit chance of rain… and it was misting as we prepared to roll. Such is the nature of late fall weather in Michigan.

The question was what to wear. I’ve got a lot of cold weather gear, but I was stuck for figuring out the right combination for the temp with mist. I opted for light arm warmers, jersey, thermal long-sleeve jersey and a windproof jacket – it was 40°, or 4 C and would maybe warm to 44 by the time we were done (6 C). Below the belt was leg warmers, bibs and light tights.

Perfection was achieved.

The key was the windproof jacket. I tend to opt for bulk in the cold, but the windproof is also a rain jacket… I figured if the mist picked up in intensity I’d be covered. I forgot how little bulk you need to stay warm if the wind can’t get you. I’m going to have to think about that in the future, over bulk. More on that in a few seconds.

The ride itself was one of those that would normally bum me out that the weather was so crappy, a lot worse than the forecast called for, but the clothing combo was so perfect, I enjoyed the whole ride and could have stayed out longer. Traffic was almost non-existent with anyone going out for “black plague Friday” using different roads from those we were riding on. Other than the on-again, off-again mist, it was really an excellent day for a ride.

We pulled into the driveway with a bit more than 35 miles and a decent average for the group and bikes we rode. One thing is for sure, it was fun.

Which brings me to the interesting “recovery” observation for the day… I had low expectations for this weekend. With COVID lockout going on, it’s really not safe to visit my in-laws as we’ve done every year but one since my wife and I were married. I love that trip and I was more than a little resentful we couldn’t go. We even decided against going down to my sister’s to spend Thursday with her family (just 25 minutes south of us). However, I made my peace with it before I even made my way home Wednesday afternoon. I didn’t “vow to make the best of it”, either. I accepted it for exactly what it was. Not being able to visit the in-laws wasn’t good (for sure), but it wasn’t necessarily “bad”, either. It just was. I rolled with it, and here we’re only halfway through and it’s been a fantastic, enjoyable Thanksgiving weekend with my wife, kids and friends. Had I let my expectations get in the way, there’s simply no way I’d have let this weekend be as good as it was.

And therein lies the lesson for me. I make my reality, good or bad, or somewhere in the middle, with my expectations and my choices. Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I act on what happens to me. It’s when I let that swing the other way that life starts to suck.


  1. unironedman says:

    Things that have layers:

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