This week was especially hard. I drove nearly 500 miles each day in my truck. On Saturday I drove 477 miles on snow packed slick roads. Because I leave at 3:00 each morning, the roads had not been plowed yet. I drove for 4 hours on mostly unplowed roads at 35-45 miles per hour in the dark. I kept the speed as high I my nerves could stand it, because like the song says, "we got a long way to go and a short time to get there...". I had an appointment to make to get unloaded and the weather wasn't going to change that.
Today, I had a lighter day and got home with time to ride. It was only 25 degrees outside, and many roads were still snow-covered, but I hadn't been on my road bike for three days; I had only been using my commuter bike to get to and from my truck. So I suited up, saddled up and rode.
Looking at the pictures, you can see why I ride in the winter. There is something about a winter vista which calms and restores a soul made weary by too many miles in a truck, pushing too hard to make appointments. Despite the road salt and slush which soaked my booties and covered my bike with white spots, today's ride was re-creating. I feel born anew.
There's another reason why I ride in the winter. Some day, I will no longer be here. Either I will have passed the century mark and therefore will be ready to go, or perhaps some stupid teen-ager will have flattened me while texting his girlfriend at 60 miles per hour. I don't want anyone to pour my cremains into a Mountain Dew bottle and duct-tape a twinkie and a TV remote to it, putting it on the couch so I can be comfortable and happy for eternity.
I want my cycling friends to take my cremains to the top of Williams's Hill. I'd like someone to say something nice about me. The rest of the riders can tell the truth. Then I'd be pleased if most of my cremains were scattered at the top of the hill. I'd like a small portion to be reserved and put in the battery compartment of a bicycle headlight. Then I want Mike McKee to mount that light on the front of his bike and take me for one last long ride. That would make me happy for all eternity.
Until then, I'll keep riding, especially in the winter.