Almost RR/Half-ass BR...welcome to MD weather.

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I was stoked...far beyond stoked, even. We stayed at work last night 'til 1
a.m. so we could have today off, and the prospect of a day of riding had me, that's right, stoked.
After hitting the Checkers in DC (inner city fast food is the worst) I drove home noticing no
rain, no clouds, and most importantly, NO SNOW. I laughed at the gods of meteorology as I went
to bed, ready to ride all day Sunday. The gods were angry - my laughter has ****** them off. As
I awoke, I noticed snowflakes out the big deal, I can ride in a bit of snow. When I
looked out yonder across the neighborhood, however, I noticed about 10 inches had fallen in the
7 hours I'd been asleep, and no streets were plowed. I was staying in today. I was determined
to ride something though, so I put on some ice-climbing clothing (out of principle) and grabbed
the bike. I walked it outside, leaned it on the truck, and took a picture so you all can
understand my situation: Notice the big chainring and derailleur cage are both in the

Anyway, I needed a few laps around the block, or I couldn't live with myself. It was awesome. Every
pedal stroke made the rear want to fly out to the side, and the front tire was kept sideways most of
the ride, just compensating for the squirreliness of the whole thing. Occasionally, three or four
strokes could be linked together, almost achieving something close to speed, but then I'd hit an ice
patch or some loose snow and start sliding around like an epileptic snake. In one twelve-foot
stretch, I managed to hit the grass on each side of a ten-foot-wide road. Old rednecks stopped their
snowshovelling to stare at the idiot trying to ride his bike in the snowstorm. The whole ride was
like an exaggerated trackstand. Pedalling was secondary to just staying on. When I did need to take
a foot off a pedal, getting moving again was the worst (read: most fun). I had to have my foot-on
pedal at 6 o'clock, then in one motion jump my butt all the way back on the saddle - I'm talking ass
off, all thigh - and put my other foot on the 12 o'clock pedal, then start a revolution. I found if
I constantly shifted myself all the way back over the rear hub, half cranked, then shifted to the
front wheel, then reapeated, I could almost develop a steady cadence. Of course, that looked like I
was trying impregnate the headset, so I gave that up. It was a constant effort to stay upright, and
the absurdity of it all had me laughing out loud. If it weren't for the stinging wind and snow in my
face, it would have been one of the most purely fun times I've ever had on my bike. Not quite a real
ride, but I did get out of the house, and had a blast. I never did fall hard, but did need to drop a
foot about 10 times. I took me an hour to do a 2-mile lap. It ruled. I made burritos afterward, then
watched Ally Macbeal. I swear to god I sat through an episode of Ally Macbeal. It was like I didn't
know what was happening, was out-of-body. When it was over, I had the sudden realization, "Holy
****, I just watched Ally Macbeal. Someone come confiscate my penis" but no one did, so I have to
say it was a good day.

No for the half-assed Bike Report: the Hutchinson Mosquitos were rocking at first, designed as they
are to shed heavy mud, but even they compacted full of snow after a few hundred feet. The super
packed snow turned to ice, and I had one big slick heavy tire to deal with... Avid Rim Wrangler 2 pads
were awesome, even though I didn't need to slow down much. In all the **** I have ever ridden in,
they've never made a sound and always gripped tighter than the IRS. Eggbeaters rule, but not when
they're wet, snowy, and you're wearing hiking boots. They get real slippery and have very little
contact area, so they were not exactly ideal for my ride. But they're not made for that kind of
nonsense, so I'm not holding it against them. I was expecting poor shifting, especially if the
derailleur was occasionally in the snow, but everything was perfect. SynLube seems to be working
pretty well, and ever since I went all-XT (and started cleaning a whole lot more) things have been
golden. The frame and fork are irrelevant, hell, a rigid would have been a better choice for today,
but the Sugar didn't snap in half, and my Black still suspends, so they get high marks.

Bottom line - MD sucks in the winter, the ride I was so stoked about never happened, but fun and is
where you make it, and on a bike, it's not hard to have a good time.

Chris (I'm tempted to be jealous of all the Southwest guys who have much better riding and never see
the snow...but I had an ear-to-ear grin all day...did you?)
[snip stoked to not stoked]
>Bottom line - MD sucks in the winter

Life's what you make it.

Peace, Bill

The mind serves properly as a window glass rather than as a reflector, that is, the mind should give
an immediate view instead of an interpretation of the world.
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