Sunday, March 8, 2015

More Sun, More Fun

This was the weekend to “spring forward” as Daylight Saving Time returned. As it always does, the time change came with a chorus of complaints from people whose lives apparently are so finely tuned that they won’t be able to function for days after missing a single hour of sleep. What a luxury to retire every night at precisely the same time, to rise every morning at precisely the same time, and to sleep continuously all the hours in between. I couldn’t achieve that if I had a personal anesthetist.

Following an exceptionally cold February, the prospect of an early spring has excited the local cycling community. This weekend many of my friends took advantage of back-to-back days above 40 degrees. We didn’t have any 40-degree days in February and we have had just 4 all year. I rode 75 miles this weekend, loving the sunshine and only mildly cursing the brisk winds. The week ahead looks outstanding for early March: 45 tomorrow and low 50s thereafter, with continuing sunshine and much lower wind speeds. Unpaved trails will remain closed to me—there’s still a fair amount of snow in the woods, and even the exposed Eisenbahn State Trail will be too soft to ride—but I’m expecting a high mileage week.

As recently as last Thursday, we were below zero! The dramatic improvement in our weather is inspiring enough by itself, but the pro cycling calendar is heating up too. Paris—Nice began today and will run all week, Tirreno-Adriatico starts on Wednesday and will continue into next week, and the US Cup mountain bike season begins on Saturday in California. In our part of the world, group rides are popping up all over as roadies abandon the turbo trainers in their basement pain caves. Give this ride a try if you’re free on Saturday morning and you want some easy, early-season miles. (I probably will tack on some harder solo miles when the group ride is done.)

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