Sunday, March 2, 2014

The straw that broke the camel's back

Today's ride was -1F with a -19 windchill to start
We all have our limits.  Today I found one of mine.  This entire winter, one built on repetitive record lows, fierce winds and icy conditions, I've kept a fairly positive outlook.  I embraced the cold, thinking it was good for the environment, I saw the icy conditions as a way to work on my bike handling skills and I tried my best to laugh at the wind--in between swearing--so that I wouldn't start crying. Throughout it all, I kept biking, alone and with friends.

Each day it was below zero I found myself berated by coworkers and non cycling friends, telling me I was crazy for riding in those conditions.  I didn't feel crazy.  I felt as though if I didn't ride I would go crazy...until today.  Today, March 2nd, the switch flipped.  Somewhere, on the last five miles of our weekly Sunday ride, I decided I had enough.  I couldn't feel my toes, even with Sorels and two pairs of socks, I couldn't feel my cheeks, the headwind was forcing me to move at a sloth's pace and the ice ruts on the side roads made me think I was riding on a pump track.  My mood quickly went from "Hell yes, let's ride and prove we can have fun in any conditions." to "Get me the f out of Wisconsin!"

The proverbial phrase of the day for me quickly became "the straw that broke the camel's back".  As I look at the upcoming five day forecast, all I can do is sigh.  I'm tired of being cold, I'm tired of taking 10-15 minutes to get dressed just to step outside, I'm tired of my shoulders being permanently glued to my ears, I'm tired of all this white (ground and my skin), and I'm tired of losing folks on the group rides because they too are sick of this.  Two weeks ago I gave mother nature the benefit of the doubt and said "You have two weeks to get your shit together."  I think I made a grave mistake and now must deal with her mocking me.

I will end my whining and moaning and I will not write another post until I'm in a better mood.  Let's just hope we begin to witness the beginning stages of Spring in the Midwest soon--for all of our sakes.

Early in the week, I decided to hit some hills

If it weren't for my friends, I doubt I'd get out--they make winter riding bearable!


  1. Thank you for laying it out the Kierstin -- very honest, very real. As I tell folks as well; normally I embrace the winter and stay very active but this winter has been too damn cold. Colder than cold. Enough already! Let's at least get near seasonal temps. We are almost there though. I have a feeling we will not fritter and waste those nicer days this summer, nor take them for granted as a result of this winter.

    1. Thank YOU Norm. Without folks like you to ride with, I doubt I'd ride much in the winter. I look forward to summer sun, outdoor festivals and wanting cold beers! See you soon, and hopefully no longer bundled up.