Friday, December 23, 2016

Cursed Periode

Everything was fine until the ice pellets started to cut into my eyeballs.

In Belgium, this is a busy time of year for pro cyclocross. There was a big race today. There’s another one on Monday, and another one next Thursday, and next Friday, and one on New Year’s Day …

It’s kerstperiode, which translates pretty well as “Christmastime.” Family and community activities abound; cyclocross is only a fraction of the fun. And the weather isn’t bad: it’s going to be in the mid-50s there on Christmas Day.

In West Bend the situation is rather different. Our last 50° day was November 29. That also was our last 40° day, which just goes to show how quickly things can deteriorate here. Winter officially arrived on Wednesday and must have liked what it saw, as Autumn had left behind a foot of snow and a streak of sub-32° days that stretched back more than 2 weeks.

I had not ridden my bike since November 29, but I rode today. We hit 36° this afternoon and the wind wasn’t bad. I took my 29er out for a 90-minute reconnaissance loop of the city. I found exactly what I expected: the Eisenbahn State Trail is open from Rusco Drive to Barton Avenue, and Regner is open for Enchantment In The Park, but most other park paths are snow-covered. Oh, well. It was nice just to get outside. Time will tell whether today’s ride was my last ride of 2016. Fresh snow is falling now, and despite the promise of 40° next Monday, the 10-day temperature trend is down.

I still hate winter, but I’m trying to make the best of it.

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