Friday, December 9, 2011

Off Again ...

I had another vacation day to burn today, and I headed down to Wissahickon around 10:30. I had originally planned to ride someplace less familiar - possibly Wharton Forest - but given all the rain we've had recently, I wasn't sure that a longer trip would be worth the effort. I wasn't even sure that Wissahickon wouldn't be a mess, but it was close and it typically drains pretty well, so I figured it was my best bet.

It was a good choice. The trails were more or less pristine - a little mud here and there, but nothing that would cause erosion and nothing that would be unrideable. That was a good thing, because last night I spent about two hours cleaning up the Misfit:

All cleaned up and ready to roll
It was really cold when I woke up this morning, and still only about 39 degrees when I left to ride, but the sun was definitely heating up and by the time I drove to the park, about a half hour away, it was about 45 and climbing. I opted to go with just one base layer, which was the right call -- I was a little chilly at the start, but heated up quickly and by the time I finished, it was well over 50 degrees.

With continued unseasonal temps, I was able to peel the duct tape off my "ghetto booties"
I ended up riding about 25 miles. The woods definitely feel and look more "wintery" than they did just a few weeks ago, but as long as the temps stay where they are, it'll be hard not to ride!

The bare trees let in more sun, but still make the trail look colder somehow ...

Without the green of the trees, the trail is very monochromatic ...

... even the leaves on the ground are now rotting and turning gray.

I know this won't last and in two months, I'll be depressed over the snow and ice making it impossible to ride, but I'm less worried about that this year. All of us here in the mid-Atlantic region really can't complain too much. It's been a wet year, sure -- but we haven't had the same cold we'd experienced by this point last year, at least not with the same frequency. I'm still riding in my autumn gear -- usually by now, I'm wearing a thermal skullcap, winter shoes, and winter jackets. I don't mind riding in that gear, but I definitely don't prefer it. So I'm not complaining. I'll just enjoy it as it comes.

I won't even complain about riding up the stone steps if the alternative is snow and ice!

So, another vacation day in the books! I could get used to Fridays off!

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