It's good to be back and training on my old training routes. New Hampshire takes way better care of their road surfaces than Arizona. Or even Massachusetts really, since one of my rides has me looping down there for a bit before coming back and right at the state line the pavement changes and is noticeably better in NH than in MA. Now if only the weather were as perfect as Tucson then it would be amazing. On Tuesday last week I made the mistake of braving the conditions for four hours. The "conditions" consisted of drizzle and temperatures in the upper 40's to low 50's.
Normally I'm pretty good about dressing for the conditions and I've been out in weather like that plenty of times and been fine. Well, it seems I forgot how to dress for it, because after only an hour I could barely shift because my fingers had stopped working. And sometimes drizzle is worse than rain because by the time I was done I was so caked in dirt that I had to hose off the bike and then myself. Nothing like icy hose water when you're already freezing. By the time I was finished with everything and had finally showered I spent the rest of the afternoon wearing two pairs of pants, a long underwear base layer, a long sleeved shirt, two sweatshirts and ski socks. How long did I spend in Tucson? Apparently too long.
On Saturday I headed out for my long ride and got to see some snow. But don't worry, it's only because I rode by a ski area that still had some patches hanging on. I really did miss riding around here. You know, like trees and stuff instead of vast desert. It makes the time go by so much faster. I spent a lot of the ride thinking about my dad. My mom told me that the boat is in the water at the lake and I couldn't help but think about how normally he'd be up there taking it out for a spin, one of the only boats out there on the freezing water aside from the fishermen, just as happy as can be.
This is also when he would really start taking his bike out. Dad was a fair weather rider, although I can't say I blame him. Why would anyone ride their bike when it was raining if they weren't training for some event? So he would be very excited this time of year when the sun would come out and it would be warm enough to go out and ride. I think a lot of us get to a point in our training where we wake up in the morning and think, oh, I have to ride my bike today. For him, it was always I get to ride my bike today. He loved it. He loved it so much that in August when his titanium bike frame cracked and was going to be replaced because it had a lifetime warranty, he decided he didn't want to wait the two weeks for the replacement to come in so he bought a new one to ride in the meantime. I offered him my road bike that I hardly ever ride, but he didn't care. So for the last two weeks of his life he was alternating between two brand new carbon Trek Madones. I still have to take the one he was riding in to get fixed. I just hope they don't ask me any questions about how it got banged up. Although considering what happened to him the bike is in amazingly good shape.
Anyway, I'll just have to try and think of him whenever I don't really want to get on my bike. And sometime soon I'll have to take his boat out on the lake for him because it seems wrong to just let it float there at the dock.
Speaking of docks and lakes, it seems some of my crazier triathlon friends have already started open water swimming around here. They even said the water wasn't that bad, and I tend to trust them because when the water is that bad, they'll still tell you that even though it doesn't stop them from going in. I actually had my wetsuit laid out and ready to go and meet them this morning, but when I woke up and went to check the back yard thermometer while I was brushing my teeth, as is my morning routine, and saw that it was thirty-four degrees out, well, I decided that it might not be such a bad idea to go to the pool instead. While I do not like the post-chlorine thing and am convinced that I am allergic to my pool here on some level because anytime I spend more than an hour in it, I spend the rest of the day sniffling and sneezing, I think I made the right choice.
I guess that's about it. Headed back to Florida next week, which seems unbelievable because haven't I done enough traveling? But at least this time there is a plane involved.