I went for a ride today. There was an annual ride happening and I wanted to check it out. I left the house after putting on the appropriate clothing, stopped to put some bills in the mail and then chose my route to the ride. I arrived early enough to roll down to the local bar/restaurant for a bloody mary and get a banana from the gas station. The ride started on time with 9 of us rolling north into a nice north wind with mostly dry pavement under the tires. We arrived at the end of the road and stopped to chat and grab a picture to record the New Years ride. We rolled down hill with a tailwind most of the way back and each rider pealed off and headed for home as we reached their turns. The last 3 of us went down to two as I decided to stop at the home store to get a couple items for home. While I was wandering the isles a couple of friends called and we decided to meet at the Legion  for a drink and food. After a couple Guinness, we headed in our home directions. I arrived home before dark with about 30 miles on the saddle.
Sounds like a typical ride, no big deal, do it all the time. Well, yeah. I do. And I enjoy it even though it was 5°F, I was riding my winter beater fixed-gear 26″ studded tire bike. This thing is no speed machine, but it does take the winter abuse pretty well. It’s geared low, but not that low. The routes to the ride were snow covered and of course half into a Midwest winter north wind. I stopped 3 times throughout the day and each time I had ice on my beard that took me a couple minutes to melt off with my hands. I was the last to arrive at the stopping point on the official ride (half mile behind the ‘peloton’). Normally, I would push the group with my summer fixed gear bike (geared high) and charge up hill with all the challenge it is to mash a big gear up hill, but it is cold out. Sanity rules out and slow is better as sweating makes you cold and the ride back would have been hypothermia for me. Sounds bad. It wasn’t. It was fun. Outside, bicycle, friends and a beer or two. Yeah, it was a good day.
Happy New Year fellow cyclists, get out and ride, any time, any weather. Riding is always good.
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