Saturday, January 1, 2011

The First Ride

It is a Frozen Wasteland this place we live in
I made a vow to myself at the end of the regular ride season that I was going to get on my bike outside at least once a week this winter.

That hasn't happened.  It is not ideal weather for skate skiing so the Training Plan said "60 minutes aerobic activity of choice" today so what better day than this New Year's Day to go for a snow ride. I have this little thing called Ice Donkey that I agreed to participate in after a few beer at an HHH Christmas party. Well the sign up has officially happened now and I'm honoured that my compatriots felt I was worthy of being asked to participate and I think it be good that I keep my winter riding legs in shape so that the the event doesn't feel like a total B-itch.

So I dressed appropriately (over dressed actually) and headed out into the -16 weather with 40km per hour NW winds which made it -28 with windchill. I rode from my house to THE park which is about 9 miles round trip, I think, if I recall from running it. Here are some of the things I saw along the way.

I look like I am about to head out and rob a bank. Orange jacket is a little conspicuous though.
It was the maiden voyage of the Oakley's.

One of the goals on the agenda was to check the one challenging part of my commuting route. It is a pretty low traffic route but there is one piece of it that is generally difficult to pass through in the winter. Last spring this section could have been described as sketchy at best. Doesn't look so bad this year. But I'm not sure if this is because they've ploughed it once or twice or if it is just my newly discovered bike handling skills that have altered my definition of "too difficult" to ride. This looks totally ridable now.

Locals, you know where I'm talking about right? (If you don't, the next pictures will serve as a further clue.) Does this path look better than normal this year?

I don't know what it is, but I actually find the graffiti fascinating and somewhat beautiful.

Who's the guy whose face is imprinted here?
No River Trail this far this year. I think last year it came up to this bridge.

It is like a subversive culture.

I hit the park next. It was against the wind the whole way there. Other than the fogging of the sunglasses it was fine though. I was sweating. I ended up in the formal gardens first. Just earlier this morning people ran scantily clad in minimalist clothing there. Always a good way to start the year. I've done it in the past. I opted to sleep in for this years Frozen Nipple. That last 200m would have been freaking frigid.

Mountain bike was bike of choice today. And NO I have not yet removed the pannier racks from the Golden Triangle. This is procrastination at its best. It requires I get out a screw driver.
Then I headed over to check out the the duck pond. Too cold for skating today I guess.

The future outcome of all the construction going on there. 
And then I headed home for a nice wind-assisted return trip. These gloves are awesome by the way. My hands were sweaty the whole ride.

Na-noo, Na-noo (Yeah, I just dated myself didn't I?)
Random thought: Does anyone actually obey these signs??
I took the bike path on the way home. I love trees. Something so peaceful about riding through trees.
Riding INTO trees, well that's another issue all together.

Got to check out up and close the skating rink they built in the park out the front of my house. 

So, there you go. I'm officially a "HARD" woman. Before today that was questionable. 


What makes me... said...

The path - that looks pretty good. They do actually plow it once in a blue moon. The wind creates a lot of drifts back there and there usually just ends up being a little trail to follow and runners (and bikers!) have to go single file all winter. What bothers me there is the angle - it just makes for very poor footing even on a good day.

Where did you pick up the mitts?


Kim said...

The mitts are MEC... in the cycling section.

I'm not running much for the moment but I know last winter there was barely enough trail there to run on through that path. I should have actually rode it yesterday instead of just standing there dumbly and looking at it. It is kinda banked though isn't it.

Thanks Karen.

Terri said...

I used to have mitts like that. Caleb claimed them as his own. I have been trying to get a replacement pair, but it would appear that MEC is out. :(

Kim said...

I got them in November so they had them then.