Several days of steady rain had wiped away the snow in the Anchorage bowl. The snow line retreated up the mountains to about the 1,000' level. The roads were damp, but not wet. The temperatures were chilly, but not overly so.
I reached the first landmark about 15 seconds later than I usually do. I was 45 seconds late to the second one. The trend continued. The farther I rode, the slower I went. There was nothing in my legs.
I didn't care.
Over a week straight of relatively short duration and high intensity workouts drained all of the energy right out of me.
I shouldn't have been on my bike. I should have been propped up on the couch or taking a nap somewhere with one of the kids under a Dora the Explorer fleece blanket. I should have been anywhere else but on the bike.
However, it was the first day in quite a while when it wasn't pouring cold rain. My opportunities to ride outside are dwindling fast, and when faced with that situation, you ride. You may not all giggly with excitement about the prospect like you were in the spring, but you ride.
I saw a handful of roadies along the way. None of us were hammering it. Our faces all said the same thing- it isn't perfect, but it's what's available. We'll take what we can get.
The local 'cross season is almost over. The early snow has the fat bikers drooling. The hardcore roadies are flipping the bird to the weather as winter closes in around us. Last year it was November before we reached this point, but nature has a way of evening things out.
I'm settling into my trainer dungeon nest for the dark months. I pulled out some of my old, socially unacceptable kit to wear on the trainer. Small items are migrating to their winter locations to make my routine more efficient. A towel here, a box of tissues there (my nose runs nonstop on the trainer)... little by little they get incorporated into the pattern. This will get so ingrained that by December I'll be on autopilot every morning at 3:30 AM, not fully awake until I'm five minutes into my workout. I'm not especially proud of that, but it's my reality.
I'll ride outside when I shouldn't while I can. Soon I won't have a choice in the matter.


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