Sometimes you have to be pushed, sometimes you do not!
This is the tale of 2 rides. Both of the rides were really fun. Both of the rides happened in the past week. Both of the rides were on Domane's. Both of the rides were approximately 3 or more hours. Both of the rides were with a group of riders all with the same motivation. On both rides I was wearing Bontrager Pro Cycling team kit. Both of the rides were on loops that are not my normal ride loops. Probably the similarities could go on and and on. Probably you are already tired of this blog post. If you want, you can just scan down and look at the different pictures. They are nice in a squishy kinda way.
But, the 2 rides could not have been more different.
The first ride was a group ride with the Bontrager Pro Cycling team in Solvang California. The Bontrager Pro Cycling team training camp just finished up last week in Solvang. Axel Merckx rang me up before hand and said "Joe, you need to get out of that weather in Wisconsin and come out and meet the guys and get out for a ride with us." Boom. That was all the prompting I needed to blow out of the super posh digs at the Trek office and snake out to California. (Look over there, is that the sun peaking out through the clouds?) I do not think anyone knew where I was that week - hiding from real work you know.
This was not an easy gig to get. I had to spend the whole day in the office, fly out to California after work, drive up to Solvang, get there late, get up early, eat breakfast with the gang, go on a ride, dinner, rinse and repeat, then bust back to the airport, fly home and go to the office. Hey, someone had to do it!
I really didn't have to be convinced to go out there. After all, if you have been following along here, you know that I am about to loose it because of the winter that will not end here in Wisconsin. As I look out on my backyard now (March 3) it is completely covered in snow and Weather.com says there is a big storm coming tomorrow night. Ugh. Surely this has to end at some point.
If you are trying to figure out what bike to get for yourself and happen to be killing time ready this dribble that I put up, I can tell you that the paint scheme from the Bontrager Pro Cycling team is about the best looking Domane in the world. Look around on Project One and you can build up the same bike.
Sometimes you do have to be pushed.
I am starting this section out admitting I am a wimp. I have not always been a wimp, I have become a wimp over time. I used to be much tougher. I am still pretty tough at times, but when it comes to cold weather - I am about as wimpy as they come. Like I said, wimp.
It is pretty hard to be a cyclist and live in Wisconsin in the winter. Wisconsin is a great place to be a cyclist in the summer. Lots of roads, more and more mountain bike trails being built, cities with lots of bike lanes and bike trails, lots of organized rides, the biggest participant mountain bike series in the country (WORS), access to great neighbor ride centers like Copper Harbor etc...
But, winter it all kinda shuts down. Snow covers the state and we have many a day with the high temperature well below freezing. Wisconsin is not such a great place to be into cycling in the winter.
"We are going for a ride on Sunday, at 10:30", Chad called and filled me in.
"I hate cold, why would you go for a ride at 10:30 when it is going to be friggin cold. I hate cold.", that is my standard response about winter these days.
"Don't be a baby. You are going for a ride with us on Sunday." I think that is Chad's basic response when talking to me in the winter.
"Only if it is above 25 degrees." Clearly a condition that probably could not be met.
"Your going for a ride with us on Sunday. That is the last of it." Chad trying to put his foot down and not have anymore of my whimpering.
Errr.... I hate cold. I really hate cold. I just knew it was going to be cold, and I hoped that I could figure out a way to have a bad hangnail or something that would keep me from going out. When I work up on Sunday, it was a balmy 1 degree Fahrenheit. 1 degree. What the hell? It is March for crying out loud. 1 degree. I immediately sent a text to Chad.
"It is 1 degree. WTH? Isn't it March?" Me acting super surprised at the temperature.
"See you at Barriques at 11:30. Don't be late, it is too cold to stand outside." (No kidding) Chad. Enough of this.
"You better get some gas on the way home, it is not safe to drive around with just half a tank of gas". Chad.
Ok, I get the point. Don't be such a wuss. Shut up and get to Barriques.
"If it is below 25degrees, I am going to whine!" Me.
(no response from Chad on that one.) I sent it again, still no response...
It was cold, and not just an average cold. It was colder than... I ended up putting on a ton of clothes and surviving it. I do not think I even whined. I probably couldn't because I could not move my mouth, it was so cold.
Poor Simon, he moves here from Australia - during our winter, their summer - and goes straight onto a road bike ride at 20degrees. "I have every piece of clothes I own on."
I guess that is it. Winter is over. (Supposed to snow 12 inches tomorrow.) We will be riding outside from now on, I guess.
Pray for snow. I need to shed this reputation of being a wimp.