As the last of the "Oh" years -- at least for the next 91 winters -- grinds to a close, clacking towards stasis like a well-trued DuraAce hub, my riding has become lackluster. I guess that's because the weather itself has lacked luster. There is certainly none of springtime's lustrous growth and deep color in the middle Tennessee woods -- merely dry spartan branches clawing away at each other in a biting bitch of a wind.
It's difficult to dredge up motivation to ride when the weather is like this. Next month we can start putting in those death march foundation miles, doing 200 kilometer rides in 200 kelvin temperatures (-99.4 degrees fahrenheit, for the non-scientists out there). Max Watzz won't insist on sessions of intervals and hour-long tempo rides until mid-February -- until then, he is satisfied with three hours each week in the weight room.
Instead, the only reason to ride right now is because it's still fun to be on a bike, and that fun is grossly tempered by near-freezing cold and howling wind.
Nonetheless, irregardless, and e caveat emptor, I did enjoy a painful 55-miler Sunday with a few friends. It was hard work, but we saw some cool stuff.
These Santa Ho manikins (maniki? womanikins?) were dressing the window of a house on Waddell Hollow Road. I should have gotten closer to get a better picture, but manikins (maniku?) have always kind of scared me ... probably from watching Twilight Zone as a youth.
We had a coasting competition going down Garrison Creek, which I handily won by virtue of being gravitationally enhanced this time of year (I'd had three pieces of cake at the party the night before to celebrate RandoGirl's birthday, kwanzaa, and boxing day). At the bottom, I stopped to take a picture of the frozen wall by the road.
Maybe that's the motivation for cycling when the weather outside is frightful. It never looks like this in the summer.