Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Riding

Who looks forward to the sunny warm weather riding more?  The riders who have been stuck inside all winter staring at the wall wishing they were outside. Or the riders who have been outside freezing their tails off since November and are getting tired of it.

My wife is a fair weather rider.  A really fair weather rider.  If it is below 60 she does not want to ride outside.  She will run outside sparingly at 40 degrees but not even think about riding.  On the rare occasion that she does ride outside she really overdresses because she HATES to be cold.  Her overdressing saves us in cold weather attire because what she wears are 50-60 I wear at 30-40.  So she can just wear my stuff.

The un-seasonably warm weather this week brought many summer time riders outside.  In addition the riverfront trail was full of walkers, joggers, mom’s pushing strollers, and people walking dogs.  This was a stark contrast to last Sunday’s gloomy and cool day when people were hunkered down wondering when spring would get here.

Wednesday night the Melon City Bike Club had the first dinner ride of the year.  These rides have been a first and third Wednesday night staple of the club for close to 10 years.  The normal format is to ride 15-25 miles to a restaurant in a small town and then shuttle back.  To start the season this ride was out and back with dinner taking place at a local bar called Wine Nuts.  The “dinner” consisted of pizza delivered from another local establishment called Salvatore's.  It was nice to have the food ready to eat as soon as we got done riding and the bar has a wide variety of vines and beers.

36 riders showed up at the riverfront for the ride.  Around 15 more friends and family showed up to join in the festivities.  What a great way to start the riding season.  The tough part will be the few chilly days that the weather man will throw our way just to make the nice warm days seem that much more warmer.

As summer draws near there are more phone calls for riding partners. There are also more chances to get out and ride with Connie.  She joined me for two rides this week.  Wednesday for the dinner ride and today (Sunday) for a 26 miles ride.  She shocked me today wanting to ride because her legs were still sore from an eight mile run on Saturday.  She even picked the direction to go and choose a very hilly route. We headed out around 2:00 as the temperatures reached 60 degrees with the sun shining.  As usual she was over dressed with a vest, tights, sleeves and shoe covers.  She took off the shoe covers and the vest before we left, the tights 4 miles later and the sleeves after 10 miles.  In her defense the forecast was for upper 60’s but it was 75 by the time we got done.  What a great surprise.  This was the second Sunday in a row the weather man was wrong.  This time it was finally in our favor.

I am always thankful that one of my riding partners is Connie.  I am even more thankful that when she rides it is not just tooling along.  Today, being only her second outdoor ride, she pushed it up the hills pretty well.  In the windy sections she was doing her share of pulling.  With the boys off at college we will be able to enjoy many evenings and afternoons riding together this srping.  We will miss the tennis meets and soccer games that we attended while the boys were in high school but riding together beats them all.  Once in a while if we are lucky we can get both boys to ride as well.

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