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Another Glorious Winter’s Night on the Dirt


December 2021

My buddy, Chuck loves winter cycling. I don’t hate it, since buying the perfect winter cycling jacket. I’m a long way from “love”, though.

Every once in a while I run into a night like last night that ups the affection a little bit. The temp was a full 10 degrees above normal, for which I was grateful because it’s been abnormally cold since mid-November and it’s getting old already. The temp was going to drop like a rock once the sun fell, though. I opted for a light long-sleeve and a thermal with a vest and no tights over the leg warmers and bibs.

The decision on the upper layers was smart. The lower layer, I’d come to find, not so much. Thankfully, I did wear my foot covers so my feet were mercifully toasty.

With the exception of being slightly under-dressed, the dirt was awesome. Better that two mile-long paved stretches we have to put up with on our weekday fully paved “Jimmer” route.

As the sun sank behind the western horizon, Chuck and I were treated to a spectacular light show that Michigan winters are famous for – the only trick is being out in the cold to see them. Last night’s was so fantastic, I couldn’t help but stop and snap a picture.

We ended up seeing more deer than we could count, that sunset, and the temp was above freezing the whole ride… and we ended up with a 15-mph average that felt like warp speed the second half of the ride because we were in the dark (have you ever noticed how fast slow is in the dark? It’s freaking awesome!).

I pulled into the driveway with 22-miles and a smile on my face. As I cleaned up for dinner, all I could think was, “If I’d have been home on the trainer, I’d have missed that.”

Some days are great for the trainer, there’s no doubt about it. But I’m glad I didn’t miss last night outside. Even if it was a little chilly.

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