Monday, January 09, 2012

Some bitching and a bike ride

Ha! Check it out: I go all gloom and doom in this blog and that blog, dredge one of the fixed gears out and take a ride and presto! A storm that was supposed to deliver rain on Thursday has shifted its track to a snowier one.

I feel confident in saying it will dump something significant, because I had made up my mind that I didn't want it to. If it does, I will dutifully and gratefully serve any members of the cross-country skiing public who show up. Money is good, survival is great. Winter is supposed to be winter, after all. Just because things around here look a lot like winter in Maryland used to 30 years ago doesn't mean they can't revert however briefly to New England's more traditional conditions. As far as that goes, the forecast still falls within the range of temperature and precipitation that would have seemed normal in the Middle Atlantic region. The climate, it is a changin'.

Thirty years ago in Maryland I would have commuted by bike all winter, interrupted only by the few days on which frozen precipitation fell too heavily and lay around too long for me to ignore it. I became pretty adept at tiptoeing across some slippery patches on the fixed gear. When snow was deep and sloppy the slithering was too dangerous, but your average winter street was just interesting.

Up here the commute is too long and too much of it is on the highway for me to venture out. In Annapolis I could switch to walking and still not be too horribly late. On the days when I didn't want to ride I usually walked anyway.

The ride today woke up a few muscle groups and reminded me to cut back on coffee.  The old cardiovascular system feels like it's lugging pretty hard when my basal caffeine level is over five cups a day. At least that's true when I'm coming out of a long layoff. When I get into the regular riding groove my system can support a long, steady caffeination if I hit it lightly at breakfast and then nurse a big cup through the middle of the day.

The roads were eerily deserted. Some cars passed, but I had things to myself a lot of the time.

I stopped at the town offices first. It's time for one of the most important and highly-anticipated rituals of New Hampshire citizenship: buying a new annual dump sticker. After that I continued on one of my convenient short rides to log 15 miles.

This snow thing is going to throw a hitch in the mix. Maybe I can commute on skis on part of my rail-trail route. Commuting time makes the most convenient exercising time. That's why I started doing it so long ago and why I hold onto it so tenaciously.

No comments: