Starting The Year Out Right: New Year's Day Ride

Now, I'm no hard man like some others I know who commute long miles all winter long, regardless of the weather. But occasionally, I overcome my tendency towards la dolce vita and do what I otherwise would think is a little nuts.

And so, with surprisingly very little prodding (or sleep), I took a mostly easy-paced ride with Gary yesterday. Temp was in the low 30's F, wind seemed to be out of the southwest at 10-15mph giving a nice wind chill of about 19ºF.

Though the decision to ride might have been less than sensible to a lay person, I made some smart preparations: multiple layers of clothing, an awesome wool cap by Rothera Cycling, gator, gloves fortified with glove liners, toe warmer packets stuffed into my shoes and a rear fender installed.

All this prep seemed like it was going to take as long as the planned ride. And as usual, I was running late, muttering curses and oaths as I fumbled with each item I was trying to attach to myself or my bike.

Ninja or toppyoushimonai?

Road conditions were actually pretty decent despite the recent 8" dump of snow. Once I got off my under-plowed street, the "shoulder" (migrated towards the crown of the road due to the snow) was either a little damp or dry with the occasional puddle.

Gary and I made our rendezvous in Stow and immediately headed toward Concord. Here's the thing for  those of you who avoid riding in the cold to remember: if you dress right, the worst part is the first 10 minutes of the ride.

Actually, the worst part is THINKING about the first 10 minutes of a cold weather ride, once you are convinced that you are heading out and actually get under way, you forget all about the cold and just worry about things you usually worry about: riding too fast/slow, pot holes, inattentive drivers and WTF is that creak my bike is making "down there"?

Hard to tell if Gary is wiping snot or radioing the team car.

Once in Concord, we did most of the Charlie Baker TT loop (1/2 gradual uphill and 1/2 medium sized rollers), bypassing familiar cycling stop Ferns Country Store at the top of the route in favor of finishing the loop THEN stopping for #COFEETS at Main Streets Café in downtown Concord and finally heading back (into the wind) to where we started.

No huge efforts, no heroics. I think we saw about 5 other cyclists and 3 or 4 people running, all of whom waved in solidarity.

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