Thursday, February 09, 2006

Getting there

Date: Feb. 8
Mileage: 19.2
February mileage: 160.5
Temperature on departure: 26

Today's ride was sponsored by Andy. I realized that I passed 1,000 miles for my winter "season," which officially began Dec. 1. The total right now: 1,042.9. I've always been a recreational rider, and I think it has probably been a while since I logged 1,000 miles in a two-month span. I especially let myself go last year, when I discovered a cheap gym membership through my employer would allow me to spin myself into pretty good shape without all of the psychological turmoil of wind and heat and mud-soaked trails. My bikes, which together are worth more than my car, spent most of summer 2005 in my apartment gathering dust. What a fool I was.

Outside is where it's at, elements be damned. Doing all this winter riding has reminded me why I started cycling, back when I didn't really care about speed increments or my ghetto booty. I wanted to be entertained. I wanted to be engaged. I wanted rare moments of clarity, and I wanted to work for them. Yes, I lost my way. But I've reformed.

And, if nothing else, I think riding in the snow has really improved my handling skills. Come summer, I expect to be fully charged and ready to tear up the trails on my mountain bike - rather than hedging for more time on the road and choking the brakes down winding single tracks. Today, while riding downhill in the soft, uneven slush, I lost control of my bike twice and managed to ride out of it each time with nary a foot on the ground. I feel so much more confidence. I feel like I have skills. You know, like numchuck skills ... computer hacking skills ...

I need to go find some sweet jumps.