We had enough snow and cold temperatures this week that ice remained in the shaded areas of the shoulders which means it is back to studs until we can be assured that we do not need their grip anymore.
I know I had already ridden Valley Chapel on February 3rd last year on a regular road bike, but do not think we will be as fortunate this year. It was not a great riding week for me between work, weather and blah so I wanted to get at least a couple of hours on the bike on Saturday and one or two on Sunday.
Saturday broke foggy with temperatures in the teens so I worked on some stuff around the house in hopes it would improve. By 11 I realized it was clear and sunny so I switched-out tires and was ready to roll in the sunshine. I made it out of the driveway only to discover something was seriously wrong with my drivetrain.
I envisioned my ride today vaporizing in the sunshine. The Moots is equipped with Dura Ace Di2 which means the rear derailleur cage is made of carbon fiber. Somehow I had broken the inside cage when reinstalling my rear wheel - a complete rookie mistake. A quick call to the shop and it was decided that an XT cage would most likely fit.
I loaded the bike into the pickup and raced-down to the shop. The diagnosis was correct and soon the bike was ready to roll.
I made it out on the road by 1:00 and decided to ride a tempo pace to Rockford and back to build some base for the season. The sun reflecting off of the snow made the light seem that much brighter and easy to forget it was only 26 degrees. As I rode I started thinking about setting some event goals for this season. Nothing firm yet, but just thinking what might be fun - although flying, fishing and sailing more sound fun too.
I did not do any events in 2013 and though I met my mileage goal I don't think I was ever in top form as a result. Without event goals it seems that I do not push myself when I need to and overall fitness suffers as a result. I think some racing and gran fondo rides may be in order this year so stay tuned. I know there are some gran fondo rides that are a good mix of dirt and pavement to fully utilize the capabilities of a good cross bike. The first that comes to mind is the Gran Fondo Ephrata March 16th this year.
The ride was just right for this time of year and I did feel a twinge of anxiousness to get back to some road riding. The forecast for this week looks cold but dry until the weekend so I should be able to keep riding for most of the week.
See you out there.