When I spoke to the members of Team Chi-Chis earlier this week (minus Katydid, who is working like a billion hours a week right now), going for a nice bike ride today SEEMED like a good idea. We had a couple of warm days this week, so it just seemed reasonable to expect that it might be somewhat pleasant. Or at least not miserable. The 50's SOUNDED warm enough. WRONG!
I knew I should reconsider when I went out to load my bike this morning. I was freezing. I kept hoping my friends might cancel on me, but they're much tougher than I am. They're also kind enough to keep asking me to cycle with them, which is pretty nice of them considering I can't keep up with them. I was also sleep-deprived, never a good condition to try a bike ride in. Yes I know I just ended a sentence with a preposition. Another indication of how tired I am. I woke up at 12:30 this morning, lay there until 2:00, then I got up and crocheted until 3:45.
I didn't want to wimp out, though, since they were doing the drive out to my neck of the woods so we could have some lightly traveled roads. I went ahead and loaded up, thinking once I got there and got moving I would be glad I had come. WRONG!
Except for the company, it was completely un-fun. There were at least a dozen points at which I really wanted to cry, but I didn't for two reasons. #1) I told myself that no one FORCED me to go out there and ride, and I should just suck it up and think about childbirth, because that was better than being on my bike at that point. #2) I didn't want my tears to freeze on my cheeks. Or in my neck warmer, which I had pulled up to just below my sunglasses like a bank robber.
If it weren't bad enough that we were freezing, we made a wrong turn. That's why this ride map has that little line dissecting it up at the top. If you'll analyze it carefully, you may notice that when we went back and corrected ourselves (I HATE backtracking on my bike), we wound up at the SAME EXACT DAMN PLACE. If I had only looked to the RIGHT when we turned around at our "mistake," I would have noticed that it was a road that we would later be turning onto. Arrrrgggghhhh!!! The only thing worse than a miserable bike ride is EXTRA MILES on that miserable bike ride. What started out to be a ride of about 38 miles turned into 46. If you think 8 extra miles isn't much, get yourself out there on a bike next time the temperature is just slightly below where you store perishable food and get back to me.
I had on everything warm that I own, and a couple of things I don't (thanks for the gloves, VT). I didn't realize my full-fingered gloves were not air-conditioned. I wore a long-sleeved t-shirt, a long-sleeved jersey, and a jacket (high visibility, thank you very much, because Rozmo said I had to wear it. Thanks, Rozmo!) I wore an ear warmer and the aforementioned neck warmer, which in combination made my helmet fit like my head was in some sort of vise. I didn't adjust the straps because that would have meant taking my gloves off. Uh, I mean VT's gloves. I had on a regular pair of cycling socks underneath my snow-skiing socks (I've never been snow skiing in my life.)
The only part that's hard to layer in cold-weather cycling is the legs. Since I don't usually cycle in cold weather ON PURPOSE, I don't have a lot of the layering options that are available. I have cycling tights, but it's not really possible to wear two pairs of them. Have you ever seen the chamois pad in cycling shorts/tights? It would be sort of like wearing an entire box of these. In rummaging around my sock drawer, however, I did come upon some leg warmers I had never worn. Nurse Jane (I think) gave them to me one year for Christmas when I was taking dance (in my early 30's; don't ask).
I wore them proudly. On top of my tights. To my surprise, hubby didn't comment on them when I got home. A male stranger in the store where we stopped, however, did say, "I like your leg warmers." Then he wanted to know how many miles we typically ride in a day. He commented on what good shape we must be in. Was he even LOOKING at me? Maybe he thought ALL the bulk was the layers and layers of clothes. In my yellow HIGH VISIBILITY jacket I looked like the Michelan man with jaundice. He said he would hate to see us kick somebody with one of our rock-hard legs. At which point I asked him if he would like to try it. (It was sort of a grumpy day.) Seriously, he knew I was joking. I laughed when I said it. But he paid for his gas and hightailed it out of there.
Sweet Girl would probably disown me. Oh, and I'm smiling because it was BEFORE we rode. Going to bed now before I post any more ridiculous pictures. Team Chi-Chis, call me next April and I'll be happy to ride.