Saturday, December 26, 2009

Riding my age on Christmas Day

I checked the weather, and it seemed that the best conditions coming up for riding might just be Christmas day, with no precipitation in the forecast and temps in the mid-20s. I really wanted to wrap up the extended saga of our order of two sets of Ay-Up lights, so I decided to ride the 54-mile loop up to David Tremblay's house in Moretown and pick up the light I loaned him when Ay-Up shorted us one unit. David and I had gone in together on the order to get free freight. When his light was missing, I gave him one of the two I had ordered, while we waited for his to come from Down-Under. The folks at Ay-Up were great, and their lights are not only superb, they are an excellent value. However, this would be the third trip out to David's to straighten things out!

The ride was very enjoyable. Having suffered cold feet earlier in the week riding into work, I tried pulling out the insoles of my winter riding shoes and replacing them with a pair of chemical foot warmers. This did not prove to be all that effective. I could feel the warmth for perhaps the first ten miles, but after that they cooled off and eventually didn't seem to be doing much of anything. There was a light northeast breeze, which slowed me a little on the way out, but made up for it on the way back.

The dirt roads were smooth, but I was reminded when I strayed onto the smooth, icy patches to get back to the snowier sections! Vehicle tires tend to clear the snow and glaze the ice, and the studded tires slipped around when I strayed off the crunchier center sections. I rode out the Duxbury Road, knowing that the road would be nice down by the river. I expected very little traffic, but there were a fair number of cars around.

I decided against climbing Rte 100 up out of Waterbury and stuck to the river until Middlesex. I thought about climbing up the Lovers Lane shortcut, but I was wearying of the icy dirt roads and didn't want to slog through the snow on the abandoned bridge, so I continued on the clear pavement to Middlesex and enjoyed the ride up Rte 100B. I stopped for a few minutes to chat with Bob Lindemann, who was out jogging, then up to Moretown and the climb up the Moretown Mtn Rd. The Moretown snowplow must have a serrated blade, because there were ridges in the icy surface, making things a tad exciting at times, but there were only a couple of cars and the going was fine. South Hill Rd. was easier than it had been before the snow, when it was covered with freshly graded loose sand.

Picasa Photos
David wasn't there, but I picked up the light and headed back. My feet were starting to get chilled, so I took Rte 100 through Duxbury and came back on Rte 2. I stuck to the generator light as it got dark, as the half-moon above the clouds was keeping things light. An uneventful climb back up to the dirt road got me home right about the time my feet were making the transition from cold to numb. The insoles were cold to the touch, but five minutes later, they were steaming--the fickle things. Final mileage was 54.5, my exact age!