Wintertime Blues? Well, not quite.
I can almost feel things slowing down as I try to hold on to every last warm afternoon. Six o'clock sunsets and morning darkness serve as reminders of impending winter and, while I must admit that I'm struggling to adjust, I'll find my rhythm soon enough. My summertime routine of riding the River Trail almost every evening does more for me than just keep my legs turning. For many of us, those weekday rides are where we see our friends and make some new ones, where we get local news and gossip, and where we can regularly burn off any tensions and frustrations gathered from a day on the job. So, I'm approaching winter with an emotion somewhere this side of dread, though there are some things that I'm looking forward to.
I just can't get interested in mountain biking during an Arkansas summer. I'm not averse to the heat or to getting dirty; however, I do manage to get enough chigger, tick, buffalo gnat, and mosquito bites while working at the river place without heading to the woods. On days when it's harshly cold and windy, I'm driven to the cover of the trees and then get my mountain bike groove on. Frankly, I'm not a technically good mountain bike rider, but I do get into it and out on the dirt is the only place I ride with earbuds, so I select one of my "Ride Tracks" playlists and disappear into the woods. I seldom have any problems staying warm on the mountain bike, so I love it on the coldest days.
I don't have much ambition to ride cyclocross, but I think it is probably the best cycling discipline for sheer crowd entertainment, and I've missed some really rowdy events. Mostly just because I haven't been paying attention. Here's a link to the local 'cross scene. I've got the November 27 Turkey Burn on my radar with high expectations of frites and beer.
Night Time Rides
I haven't done many winter night rides in the last couple of years, but my lights are charged and I'm determined to get in more "light" rides. It's more fun to start with a group because once you're on the bike, you can't identify passing friends. Some of the Nerds have been having a blast riding single track at night. I'll need a new lightset for that, but it's on the "to do" list.
Note: riders who have lights over about 67 lumens, please beware that oncoming riders may be blinded by your approach. Please try to keep your light out of my eyes and I'll do the same.
My reduced activity level also slows my stream of subject matter, so forgive me if you feel you're not getting your money's worth here!