Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Winter Blahs

Okay, I'm going to admit it. This winter is killing me! I mean, between the uninhabitable temperatures of last week and the snow before that, things have fairly dried up here in terms of cycling. The brief respite we had with the wave of warm air was a welcome relief, but today a severe reversal is taking place and plunging us back into winters icy grip.

I guess that the real problem lies in the fact that we have not experienced such a winter since that notorious snow fest of 2000-2001 around here. It seems that in between then and now we could count on a "winter" lasting all but a month- month and a half maybe. A short period of time that you might not bicycle much, if at all outdoors. This winter is dragging on for what seems like forever, in comparison.

I might sound like a whiner to some of you who have been piling on the miles in places like Minneapolis or Alaska. I don't know why folks in the Omaha/Lincoln area have been having group rides every weekend seemingly all year long, but around here, we just seem to be in the Vortex of Suck, to coin a new weather term.

The whole Vortex of Suck came into play here on the first weekend in December when we got slammed with four inches of sleet that quickly turned into a sheer slab of ice. Yeah, that stuff was like an icy version of Quick-rete, and it has closed down the off road trails since then. After that, the Vortex of Suck dumped various amounts of snow on us at even intervals making sure that the brief moments of melting in between didn't deplete the snow cover. Then, as already mentioned, The Vortex of Suck put us in the deep freeze for about a week.

Yeah, it relented for a spell, but the Vortex of Suck returns with a vengeance again, sucker punching us for believing for a moment that warmth and melting snow were going to reveal dirt. Dirt that I have not set tires to since November. That is waaaay too long to go without dirt.

I suppose I am at that latitude and longitude that promotes this mess, this Vortex of Suck phenomenon that haunts this area and causes cycling to be driven indoors where it ought not to be. I refuse to retreat to such haunts. Others may ply their roller skills and sweat their brains out at spin classes, but I am not cut from such cloth. Nope. I am riding outdoors or not riding at all. I am committed. Vortex of Suck or no.

It ain't easy, but that's the path I've chosen. Winter blahs and all.

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