Wednesday, December 25, 2013

winter rides are sometimes the best rides

Winter rides at the end of the year are often some of the best rides I have.  

A few days ago, I had some time to ride and the weather had warmed up considerably from the cold snap of the last couple of weeks. So I headed out for an afternoon spin. Not knowing where I wanted to go, I headed south for a little while, puttering around the neighborhood, and then turned east. I knew I wanted to try and ride up Rocky Butte at least once, and I had not been there since late last winter. I also had not ridden as much or as hard this year, and I could feel it in my legs. So when I found myself at the base of the hill there was really only one thing to do: go up.

It was harder than I thought, and easier. Harder because I did have to stop and walk my bike a couple of times. Easier because once I got into a groove, I managed to stay on the bike and keep pedaling. I was rewarded at the top with spectacular views, and a brief encounter with an enormous hawk.

This morning, I enjoyed another cold-weather ride, this time with more sun, in and around a great deal of inner N/NE Portland. This was my annual Christmas Morning Ride, a tradition I've maintained since Jr. high school when I realized that I could ride like an idiot on streets that were virtually deserted, and there'd be no one around to stop me. (Well, one year a policemen pulled me over after watching me weave back and forth across four empty lanes on East Burnside in Gresham, Oregon; I was sixteen and he wanted to know why I wasn't home opening Christmas gifts. Once I explained my rationale -- and that I was Jewish -- he let me off with a warning and told me to get my butt home before I froze to death -- it was below freezing that morning.)

As in years past, I enjoyed a mellow ride on nearly-empty streets, hard winter sunshine and dry weather, with a high of around 40F. Home how, and basking in the afterglow of a cold winter ride. May all your rides in 2014 be as satisfying and enjoyable as these.


the Slow Schlepper said...

Thanks Beth.Best wishes to you and your loved one(s) as well.



anniebikes said...

I loved your encounter with the hawk. I often find that getting myself bundled up and out the door in winter is the hard part, but when I encounter something unique, am I ever glad I went on a ride!