This winter has seen many a cyclist questioning their desire to ride. It confined us, relegated to the indoors as snow and ice sneered at our skinny tires. Even when professional racing resumed, seemingly worlds away in Australia, we chased our tv screens haplessly from stationary trainers. When the clocks "sprang forward," the promise of extended daylight began our change in fortune.
I decided to have a go at a local spring race series. Being the day our clocks leapt ahead, the still-dark morning did nothing to help me out of bed after a rather unfortunate night's sleep. My race was the second of the day, which only meant I would forego a proper warm-up for more sleep in the car. As the sun began to warm the morning mist away, I gathered up my motivation to put on some racing kit.
The problem with lycra is that it does very little to keep you warm. In all of my layers, I shivered a few mumbled words of complaint as I checked over my bike. My mind wandered to the youtube videos I had seen the night before, mostly of pros racing through sun-baked deserts in the middle-east. And yet, there I was, surrounded by snow banks in an over-salted parking lot, pinning on a race number.
Many of us find motivation from the nuances of the sport, nailing an apex on the descent, a favorable tailwind, justifying the post-ride burger and beer(s). It's simplicity is undeniably attractive, circles turning circles towards endless enjoyment. Unfortunately, in this winter, the monotonous spins on the trainer did little to raise morale, nor did the weather forecasts. What we craved were our sharp tan-lines, open jerseys flapping in a warm wind, and our evening group rides chasing the sunset.
As with every year, those rides will come. While we may not be pros chasing an endless summer around the globe, our goals and ambitions take shape long before the warmer months arrive. These goals, hanging with the fast group, riding a century, or conquering a massive climb, keep us turning the pedals, releasing the stress of our lives. They see us through spring rains and summer heat, and yes, they'll even carry you through the deepest winter.
See you out there,