I am a cyclist, I love bikes, but really I am and perhaps will always be a mountain biker. I like the quiet solitude of riding trails in the woods, the wonder of slaloming cactus in desert, cruising up above treeline seeing things from the top of the world. It all brings me joy like nothing else on earth. Yet I do like riding my bike enough that dirt roads, bike paths and pavement can make me smile as well. Something about spinning those pedals, watching the landscape roll by, seeing places under my own power, feeling my heart, my lungs, my legs work to propel me forward.
To this day I have ridden a road bike maybe three times in my life, not including 5 minute test rides at work. I mean if I had the money I would have more bikes than spoons and forks combined. I love bikes! Yet I am usually broke and dreaming of some adventure that I really can’t afford, so a road bike is not at the top of the list, not even close. Now with this whole structured training thing I have immersed myself in I have found myself leaning towards riding the road. So much easier to control your speed, effort, distance, heart rate riding on the road. Duh, I mean I know that most mountain bike pros ride road bikes a good bit of the time, first hand experience made this make more sense.
Luckily I have some great friends, one of them happens to be my boss, DaveMoe! He has a bike problem of sorts, after 30+ years of being a bike shop owner, bike racer, bike geek, he has ended up with a few dusty old bikes sitting idle. A few new parts, a few hours of tinkering and the Woodrup is back on the road. I didn’t waste anytime after getting her road ready to head out for a ride. Sure it snowed last night, sure it was supposed to snow some more, damn it I had a new toy to play with!
The weather starts out fine, cool, cloudy, touch of wet pavement here and there. I roll east on Hwy 50, feeling great, smiling having fun cruising along. I peal off the highway at Parlin as bits of snow begin to cascade on down across the picturesque ranching valley. I make it to Ohio City, the road is still pretty clear and dry. I keep rolling with the intent of turning around at Pitkin. Soon as I leave Ohio City the wind begins drive the snow sideways, bringing a sting to the precipitation. Still I pedal on. Soon the road begins to hold snow, a bit here and there, then an inch, then a couple inches. Suddenly my back tire is slipping out when I stand up. Visibility is getting to be down right sketchy, Ok time to turn around.
The wind is driving right into my face, freezing my forehead. My back tire keeps drifting sideways in the frozen slushy ruts. I laugh out loud. I just might be insane, slipping all over the road, freezing cold, laughing aloud. I just love it. Once back down a few miles the road is still mostly clear, but the wind fights me all the way home. Ten miles from Gunny my bravado is replaced by frozen toes and cheeks, my hands hurt and I am bonking. Nothing to do but ride till the ride is over. I make it home and my ass is fully kicked. Got to admit road riding is quite an adventure after all. Me and Miss Woodrup are going to have some serious fun together, can’t wait.