Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Moment of Zen

Has it been cold these last two mornings or what? In Truro it's been down in the -10C range, making me name-check at least one of the Japanese twins from Goldmember when I stepped out of the front door. On days like this, dressing stylishly (usually the first concern of any cyclist worth their chamois) goes out the door in favour of wearing everything!

The cold has snuck up on us (well OK me). It seems like only yesterday the only concern was matching socks to jersey. Yet first arm-armers, caps, hats, knee-warmers, gloves, then another pair of gloves, increasing thicknesses of tights and then all the jackets have crept onto my body almost without me knowing. Then one day you wake up in the lanes with six layers on! Wardrobe stealth!

Just don't call it training! Goodness knows it isn't. Training is all heartrates and speeds and intervals and structured plans and goals. It can and does suck all the fun out of it. Training does have it's place, I know this, and sometimes I am as guilty as the next person of not daring to do anything "untoward" less it adversely affects my preparation!

Today was not one of those days and December is not once of those months. To me cycling is more about taking your time and smelling the roses than it is redlining. Not that my nose was functioning enough this morning to smell anything, but its the thought that counts, no? Cycling is a means to itself, not a means to an end!

So I will still enjoy it while I can, That hour in the lanes can be the only true peace and quiet all day. When Sean Kelly retired he said the big difference between being a pro and a regular person was that as a regular person he didn't have to ride in the rain if he didn't want to, and Kelly was no candy-ass! In any poll of "hard-man cyclists" he'll be at the top of the list! So if tomorrow is as grim as they say it may be, I think I'll stay in bed for an extra hour instead (Kelly would have!).

I am saddened that soon riding outdoors will not be possible; it will be significantly colder and the roads will be significantly worse (and dangerous). Memories of mornings like this always make it easier to get through the four long months of winter when riding ceases to be a pleasure and does become a chore. This mornings ride was not a chore, it was a pleasure.

I love riding. You know this; and so I did really enjoy my ride this morning, fingers and toes notwithstanding. The countryside was very pretty with the snow and the sun, a crummy little camera phone can't do it justice, but these pictures are a hint of what I saw these past two morning! As a bonus, the roads were good too; very little black ice. I think what I saw and what I experienced mentally was worth a little distal physical discomfort.


  1. I just hope what is coming tomorrow won't stay, at least not the ice, so it will still be possible to ride in 2009!!!