Thursday. 60 degrees. In January.
Friday. 30 degrees and falling. Windy.
Welcome to Kansas.
I took advantage of the Kansas weather on Thursday and got out for a night ride with the Thursday night group. The weather was wonderful.... starting in the low 50's and dropping to low 40's by 8:30 or so. Minimal winds and a great group of folks... about 8-10 strong.
This is becoming one of my favorite rides and this night was the best of the best. Not because I had a great average MPH. Not because the sprints were fast, or the paceline was hauling, but because I really enjoyed the company and conversation. Coupled with a relaxed pace, and a georgous night, it was a different side of riding.
When I first starting getting into riding and started calling myself a "fast recreational" rider, what I meant was I liked to go fast and was wrapped up in speed, pacelines, average MPH, and all the high tech carbon fiber aero whata madodads. But I am now finding myself more interested in the "feel" of the ride. The people, the scenery, the purpose beyond speed and such. I love commuting and wish I could do more. I am becoming increasingly interested in bike touring and camping (Upcoming post on this), and am way more excited by fenders, lights and panniers, than carbon fiber and 3 spoked wheelsets. But I degress.
Anywho... a great Thursday ride.
Friday, I commuted. I had been watching the weather and knew it was supposed to start int he low 30's and drop during the day. It was also supposed to be windy. Now I don't get to commute as much as I would like, and I am somewhat embarrassed to even call my self a commuter given the minimal number of times I commute each year. So I was determined to do this commute... and I have been finding that the cold is really not that big an issue... so I was gonna commute come hell or high water.
Turned out the be cold and windy.... but I was overdressed going in and about right on the way home.I took a shortcut home that helps me avoid a large hill and cuts 2 miles off the return. While not normally one to shy away from a hill and more miles, with the cold and the nasty wind, I was willing to give up on the joys of the hill to avaid the cold. This shortcut is not officially open yet. with about 100 feet still left to be paved. I love having the 32c tires and had no issues "off roading it".
Many people at my office thought I was nuts for riding in the cold. I kinda like the crazy label.