November in the Pacific Northwest is greeted with a bid a trepidation. It is generally our wettest month of the year. It is also, pure and simple, often the wildest weather month of the year. I have seen pounding rain, flooding , major windstorms, and freezing butt cold, ALL in the same month. Wait, that was THIS year! We had all four!
The only thing we didn’t have, much to my wife’s displeasure, is any snow. Though in past years some of the most crippling snows in Seattle have occurred in November.
For cycling Tony, with this type of weather, one would assume the cycling sucked….
In fact, last year at this time did suck. Combining bad weather with being stuck in Spokane for weeks on end teaching, last November resulted in barely cracking 100 miles, and Tony getting fatter from eating out.
This year, things were different. I was NOT far from home, so it meant I was not eating out AND Michelle made sure to get me out and about. The month also started with a bit of inspiration as I received the well deserved RAMROD jersey right at the beginning.
For 3 weeks this was my favorite Jersey ever! It was broken in on November 1st with a good hard ride. It was apropos that as soon I reached my furthest distance from the car AND the turn around spot, the clouds opened up and gave me my first, but NOT last, drenching of the month. Let the miles begin!
With the loss of daylight savings time, it now gets too dark too soon to allow for long rides after work. This means its time to move indoors to the rollers.
Now some people argue that indoor miles should not count for the monthly totals. When I see that these people get this look!
Indoor workouts make me pedal harder, I sweat more AND using the rollers I can still crash if I don’t pay attention. Also, its my blog and my miles, so I counts them! I am happy to report that the vast majority of my rides were outside though.
The month was just nuts though. Many mornings I awoke to this outside.
Then there was this day after flooding rains
The only downside with the clear days? It was below freezing. More than once I left home on the bike looking like this.
I also had to watch out for ice along the way.
It is gorgeous, but a little dicey on 2 wheels. I would rather be too cold than too hot though. These rides made me much less cranky than the 90 degree days of the summer!
This month marked the longest ride since the RAMROD, 65 miles around the Lake Washington loop
This allowed me to fulfill a new cycling tradition. This month I officially hit the ‘in the 50s’ milestone and had my 51st birthday. Many cyclists like to ride their age on there birthdays. Since mine came on a work day AND the day after a major windstorm (yep we lost power again!) I waited till the following Sunday. During the above mentioned ride, I hit the 51 mile mark!
I was also sporting my NEW favorite jersey, Michelle’s birthday present to me is from our favorite brewery bar none!
First the green station wagon, that has hauled me to many adventures over 18 years, finally died. It has gone to the big junk yard in the sky.
Next, I found my new motto. When things are rough, I find myself whispering to myself. “I am the Storm!”
Finally there were the miles. At the end of last month, I was looking at the possibility of reaching 4000 miles for the year. I’d never done that before. Well, after racking up a surprising (to ME anyway, not Michelle, she knew I’d do it) 369 miles this month I am happy to announce I have 4003 miles for the year. A new record, and there is still another month to go!
I went out yesterday to make sure I made it to 4k with a quick 16 mile run, we shouldn’t be surprised it was cold and foggy, but still, if you look for it, pretty in its own way.
Thanks Michelle for all your help!
I AM the Storm!