Long ago, I made the New Years resolution that I not only kept that year, but I was able to keep year in and year out. I resolved NOT to make resolutions! It has worked wonders for me.
However, that does not mean I let a new year go by without noticing it. With the holidays having just occurred, I ate and drank WAY too much (though it was damn good).
The Tony diet is tossed out the window until the New Year…
New Years Eve Michelle and I have two traditions. The first is making homemade Mushroom Risotto (I am in charge of stirring!) and the second is the grateful teapot.
All year Michelle and I jot down notes about events, things, and food that appreciate and are memorable for the year. (As an example, we are both thankful that we got to meet out gorgeous niece Abby in person.)
So after YUMMY dinner and YUMMY wine, it is bedtime early.
New Years day! 2016, the holiday snacking is over and its time to get my butt in gear. This means getting out for a ride! A few years ago, the cycling and weather gods smiled on Seattle, and we had a sunny, almost 60 deg New Years day. This is NOT the norm!
Usually, we get one of 2 types of weather on New Years. Wet and rainy and close to 50 or cold and clear and HALF that. This, like last year, was the latter. It was cold and frosty!
Now last year, I buckled down and got 40 in for the first time in months. It was butt cold and I was frozen at the end. This year, since I had cranked out 40 in the rain and snow the week before, AND we had a three-day holiday weekend; I broke the 40 into 2 different rides. And DAMN it was cold!
New Years day, I threw the bike on the car and drove down hill to the Burke-Gilman trail. I decided to head toward Woodinville. This was a bit of a dicey ride. Where the sun had hit the trail, it was clear and dry. However there were spots where the sun hadn’t shined for days. The frost was a quarter-inch thick in places. This called for keeping the wheel straight, and no sudden turns.
As cold as it was (and DAMN it was cold! 28 degrees when I started), the skies were blue and the birds were out in force! I decided then and there that I would start an album on Facebook to share pictures I take while bike riding.
Editor’s Note: I belong to a group on-line that supports cycling. There are those in the group that believe stopping for photos wastes a good workout and ruins the ‘stats’. I disagree! I ride for the experience and photos help me remember it and share stories. So stop I will and pictures I will take!
On my way back, these two were there to cheer me on. And you can see the winter blue sky I was talking about!
I have always found that keeping your head up and looking around when you ride makes for a much better experience in almost anything you do! (Except a business meeting when they are looking for volunteers! NEVER make eye contact at that time!)
Michelle took a walk the next day near this same spot and saw a river otter! I love the Pacific Northwest!
23 miles was the total that day, with some chilly toes, but over all not bad!
Jan 2, I decided was not to be a long ride day. However, I did use the bike for a quick errand to the store. A mile round trip is barely worth mentioning, but I have been trying to get myself to use the car less and bike more for things like this, so it was a win!
Yesterday was JUST as cold! But I already took one day off, so it was time to ride. I drug myself back down to the trail and headed south to Seattle.
A mile into the ride I realized I’d made a rookie mistake! I left the shoe covers, that help keep feet dry in the rain and warm in the cold. It was 28 degrees again. Add to it, the further south I went, the clouds got thicker. This meant I didn’t have the warming of the sun! Now a smart man woulda turned around….
I have not always been known as the smartest man….
I kept going…
Just as with the New Years ride, parts of the trail were clear, others were clear. I just kept wiggling my toes to make sure I could feel them and kept a pedaling. This time, nature did not provide me with critters to see. However, at the turn around point at Gas Works Park in Seattle, there were sites to see!
If she says she can smell snow in the air, get ready….
The ride back went pretty darn quick, I think I had visions of a warm car! The one highlight? Three guys were out for a run going the opposite direction. One of them yelled “Looking good man!” and raised his hand for a high 5! As we all know, there is a man law that one NEVER leaves a spontaneous high 5 a hangin! A slap of gloved palms and I was gone.
I got home, hopped into a hot shower, and 30 minutes later the toes were back to normal!
Not bad for the first weekend of the year, 47 miles total!
And for those who were wondering, Michelle was right, we had our first real snow flurries in over a year! No accumulation, but it sure was pretty!