Monday, December 29, 2008


It's been maybe 2 weeks that we've had winter road conditions here in Boise, and bicycling has been particularly "adventurous."

On Saturday it snowed about 4 inches. I ended up riding maybe 4 miles around my neighborhood. Part of it was in traffic lanes (on mercifully-lightly-traveled roadways) and part on sidewalks. (At least I assume there are still sidewalks down there someplace.) About 2 miles of it was riding with a snow shovel perched atop my handlebars, on a "mercy mission." I crossed paths with a couple cross-country skiers who were headed down the road in the opposite direction. A lone dog stopped sniffing a half-buried fire hydrant, to watch the crazy guy go by on the bike. Slow going with frequent use of my "outriggers" (feet, in emergency no-crash maneuvers), but my zero-crash record is still intact.

When the riding is over snow and ice, and bouncing among piles of snow and frozen slush, it's physically demanding, but in a whole different way from the normal aerobic workout.

Yesterday, the "big melt" finally started; the temperature rose to the 40s and by this morning, the snow and ice had receded considerably, exposing pavement in a lot of places.

Which meant that the bike ride to the office was much more normal, for a change.

I found myself breathing hard where I normally would not. Perhaps a little of that was the ride into a fairly brisk wind, but I'm sure a lot was due to the fact that it doesn't take long at all to start getting "out of shape." A couple weeks of somewhat-involuntary winter layover, combined with questionable diet regimen... and I'm huffin' and puffin' on a 3-and-a-half-mile ride! Pathetic!

At least it's a temporary situation, resolution or no resolution. There are plenty of folks, my age and younger, who wouldn't be able to ride a bike to work if their lives depended on it! It's all about lifestyle choices.

I look forward to more unobstructed riding. And I really look forward to April or so, when they finally get most of the sand and dirt swept up, that they've scattered all over the roads for traction. Bleccch!

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