then there's the whole piece of stopping at public places - intersections - and carefully hoisting the water bottle out of its carbon fibre frame and slurping back water so close to ice it literally freezes my tongue - i mean this is entirely about posturing. oh yeah . . . i'm soooooo tough. the water hurts it's that cold. it's one step from ice. but . . . the people in their audis and suvs don't know that do they? nope, they think i'm a freak on a roadbike still sitting on summer slicks. and that's what freaks do - they drink water on a day when the rest of the world is nursing rum and cokes to avoid the horror of dealing with the nasty truth that - even though the sign says autumn, it's winter.
so what! here i am!
i'm sitting right next to them on a carbon fibre bike that says f--- you i don't care, really i don't!!!!
i've already put on my uninsulated too tight gorgeous leather biking shoes and layered myself with a store's worth of performance wear and headed out regardless.
first impressions? damn it's windy. second impressions? what's my point here? well i'm aiming for a season total that sees the road bike get 4000 kms on it, so that's a worthy goal i figure. then there's the whole piece of knowing that most of my bike buddies have hooked their bikes up to rollers. not me. not yet. i will not weaken. or something like that!!!!
but then, riding out of the beautiful city i get to call "home" for now . . . well so much opens up and really all the ego stroking and self-perceptions that hover around the whys and whats of a ride that probably shouldn't take place disappear and it all comes clear exactly why i should go out and lose all feeling in the front half of my feet and suffer the brain ache i usually only get with a jumbo blue-coloured (and flavoured) freezie.
i fire snot rockets every twenty metres and spit every ten and i think more than once about the much more comfortable places where i could happily park my body and let it enjoy other experiences that would be far more gratifying and memorable!!
and yet, i ride on!
past the ducks sorting out the complications of three mammals in love.
they seem happy, but you know there's all sorts of shit going down there!!!!
past the place where the water is running down the bank and freezing into icicles before it hits the river.
check it out.
see the white things pointing straight down?
not roots my friend - icicles!
and i take a picture of the shadow of myself just to confirm that it's not summer or spring or autumn - no way man it's every part of the frosty fingers of winter and i'm in the process of earning some sort of amazing experience that has never been a part of me before and so this is what i look like as i watch myself - sand and dust and snow and cold water and a shadow . . . . and further on i stop to take a thankyou portrait of my road bike who remains nameless - perhaps not for long as i have requested support from she who will ride with me through snowsqualls and anything else!
but really, in the end the ride was defined by this little inukshuk dude standing waist deep in the cold fast-flowing water and somehow still retaining his super-high stop the bike ride coolness quotient.