8:46 PM

How crazy is it that I went out on a bike ride today?!

I am not one of those hardy bikers that will pile on the layers and ride in sub-freezing temperatures.  I have no awesome boots or bar mitts, no extreme base-layering system or super-tough constitution.  Even though I love cyclocross, if it isn't a race, it is going to be difficult to get me outside on a bike once the mercury dips below 40.  Winter is for skiing and the occasional run to keep me honest.

Of course, there is no skiing this year...well, no good skiing.  We have gone out to Theodore Wirth and Elm Creek a few times to join the masses that are skiing the 3.5 kilometer loop over, and over, and over again.  More than once we have found ourselves in the midst of a junior varsity high school race - since there are only a few places hosting races this year, you can pretty much count on a race every day.  I look back at last year's workout journal, and I cannot even conceive of the hours I put in skiing.  Every day was wonderful, every week brought new snow, and every trail was perfectly groomed and ready for us.  This year...not so much.

And I also have no snow bike - one of those massively huge bikes with tires that look like they could float a small Girl Scout troop to safety.  I know the expert mountain bikers are out there on the trail riding their "skinny" tired bikes, but I am nowhere near an expert.  When there is ice, there is no fun (some day I hope to have the mad-skills required to ride in any conditions, but I'm not there yet).  While we were able to ride earlier in the year, I know now it would only lead to frustration.  Besides, after a couple of warm days like we are predicted to have this week the trails will all close because they are too wet.

So I need to appreciate what I was able to do today - ride home from work, and then go out on an additional hour and a half ride before the sun set.  The west-northwest wind was a bit blustery, but even it couldn't take away my excitement of being on my bike, on the road, out of doors.  Anything is better than cranking the wheels as I look out my living room window!  In December, I was thinking I needed to note the last day I was able to ride for the season.  With each warm December afternoon that led to another ride, I felt like I was stealing something from the biking gods.  Now I am wondering if I need to note the first day I was able to ride in the new season - because here it is, nearly February, I am only a couple of weeks away from my first Base phase, and I'm already out side, riding my bike!

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