38 degrees feels a lot warmer when the sun is shining. Especially on a pristine winter day with mounds of untracked, fresh white snow enveloping the countryside and reflecting the warmth. Too soon after the storm for the snow banks to have turned that sullen muddy grey. In short, the perfect day for a winter ride. The moist blush of the melting snow on the road even keeps the poisonous salt out of my lungs . . . for the most part. The rear fender was a good idea. Two hours into the ride, I was still dry and warm.
Saw a peloton of young racers in their team kits flash by in the opposite direction. For about a nanosecond I considered flipping around and giving chase. But on a single speed, it would have been futile. Heck, who am I kidding. Even on my super sexy Cervelo I am would not be fast enough to bridge to them and hang on to the back. I am not an elite athlete and never have been one. I am not even a fearsome age-grouper. I am a regular guy. An older one at that. I am comfortable with that. I don’t ride to compete with the rest of the world. I ride for myself, to challenge myself, to push my self a bit farther or a bit faster than I thought I was capable of. And on a mid-winter day, when I am the only regular guy out on the bike, I get a sense of accomplishment. And I know that each labored pedal stroke makes me stronger and gets me closer to that finish line in Leadville.