Sunday, December 21, 2008

les forcats de la route

On particularly difficult rides or rides where conditions degrade and the general consensus terms a ride as an "epic", a peculiar mood strikes the group.  There is a certain point where everyone settles down to the business of getting the work of the ride done, where everyone punches the clock and accepts the grim business of accepting that the more pain one endures, the sooner the end will come. 

Today, we headed out for the slightly longer than 3 hours Maple Sally dirt road ride.  The temperature steadily dropped over the course of the entire ride until finally, feet and fingers were no longer felt or functional.  The pace turned up as an unspoken desire to get back to the cars and the warmth that they could provide was realized by everyone at the same time.  We got back to the cars, loaded up and headed for home.

In an attempt to maintain civility on the ride, Todd and I both packed flasks of hot tea to be shared at the midpoint of the ride.  Todd went with a Black Chai, while I went with the classic Earl Grey with a touch of soy milk.  Todd produced several metal demi-tasse cups from his bag, but  I one-upped him with an assortment of Dutch Butter Cookies.  We are both contemplating how to up the ante for the next ride.  I'm thinking scones with a bit of creme fraiche at the very least, but the idea of having a camp stove and a stove top espresso maker isn't entirely out of the question, either.

Once we were back to the cars, the realization of how cold I was made me yearn for the warmth of the car, but this was a hollow dream.  I have a 1987 Mercedes-Benz Turbo Diesel station wagon.  Apparently, the heating system on this car is a hold over from a Nazi design as it functions like some sadistic experiment.  It primarily blows cold air for a vast majority of the journey, no matter how high you turn up the thermostat.  But then, at some point, the heat cranks up to an unrighteous degree.  You want to turn it down, but this does nothing.  You turn off the heater - nothing, it still blows horrendously hot air.  You roll down the windows and get a mixture of cold air and desert wind swirling around inside the car.  Alas, our trip home wasn't long enough to even put a toe into the hot zone.

Please stop by the shop this Tuesday beginning at 4 for a bit of holiday cheer.  This Wednesday will be the Christmas ride leaving from Hard and Flossie Clark Park in Collettsville at 8am.  This will be a dirt road ride with 3 and 6 hour options.  Mountain and 'Cross bikes are welcome!  Bring a snack!  Call the shop for more information.
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