Sunday, 25 March 2007

Frozen Nose

Amy Woodward and I had big plans to go out today for a long easy ride, about 4 to 4 and a half hours was the goal. In need of riding some different roads than I have for the past three years I agreed to head down to the far south to check out a new loop, guaranteed to have lots of hills. Start at the corner of 37th and 22X and head out to Millarville, then maybe to Bragg Creek or to Black Diamond. Neither of us in a huge hurry (especially since I just quit my second job which was going to have me work both days this weekend..yuck), so timing would depend on how fast we decided to ride.

I woke up early this morning, super excited to get out for the ride. Dallas made a huge pot of oatmeal and I ate lots, to safeguard against the bonk pain I experienced last weekend, topped with berries and yogurt. As I looked outside to see the wet pavement, but relatively sunny ski, Amy called with news that snow was falling down South. Hmmmmm, should we try?? Of course, so I head home, grab some winterish riding gear, but pass on the lobster claws, it can't be that bad, mistake. I was running a little late so I gave Amy a shout and sounded like the weather was clearing a bit. Half hour later, we meet up and head out. Skies are overcast, roads are damp, the occassional snowflake falling, but it's actually pretty nice out.

As we turn and head towards Millarville, we're talking away, so I never really notice when the small snowflakes start turning into looney sized flakes, so we keep going. The roads are starting to form puddles, and soon the snow is starting to stick to the road. About 4 km out of Millarville, we pull over and discuss our options. But because as Amy says, "We left our purses at home" and neither of us really want to wimp out, we decide to push on to Millarville and see from there. Not even two km down the road, the snow is coming down so thick and hard, "I wonder how safe this is?" we both ask, but keep on riding. It's not until a minivan passes us and slams us with, I swear, a 5 foot wave of slushy snow and we can't see the read the sign only 30m ahead of us, that we decide it's probably be a good idea to turn around now.

Taking a back road back to my car, we end up riding in 3 inches of snow at time, my poor road bike and powertap (I don't think you're supposed to get those things wet, let alone caked in dirty slush), and we're both frozen. Amy's toes, sans botties have lost all feeling, I can't shift or break cause I can't feel my fingers (they still hurt typing now), helmet vents clogged with snow, and everytime I turn my head to talk to Amy I see large slabs of snow breaking off various body and bike parts. Definitely should have had my camera, I think this qualifies as epic. Then, off in the distance, are three lonely black dots moving towards us. As they near, it's Per Strom, Chirs McNeal and another blurry rider, my Rudy Projects didn't come with built in wipers, heading into the storm we were just leaving........good luck guys.

So our 4 hour ride turned quickly to a 2 hour suffer fest, and 2 hours of bike cleaning, builds character right. Seems like it would have been a really good loop and I'm definitely willing to go that route again, but there has to be a guarantee for nooooo snow. That's definitely going to get me ready for the heat of Arizona.

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