the scent of season

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by cycle-one, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. cycle-one

    cycle-one Guest

    Just finished my first ride of the season. Which is not to say the first
    ride of the year. But this is the first day that was spring-like that I was
    able to get some saddle time.

    Temp 14 C
    Winds South 20 kmh

    Everything is soggy and sodden so I stick to the paths. Plenty of time
    later in the season for the off road stuff. Although mostly swept up there
    is still a residue in places of that salt/sand crud from winter. The city
    street sweepers are hard at work vacuuming up the debris.

    I start off going south: Even the stone dust paths are springy; still
    swollen with the spring melt. In some places the paths are outright muddy -
    waiting for the works department to redust them and fill weather-heaved
    potholes. Even some of the paved slopes are showing wear, roots straining
    mightily to break through.

    I loop around to head north for the river trail. The tended grass of the
    sports fields as well as its wilder cousins lie in mats of yellow torpor:
    Last years growth. But amongst this years soggy loam greenery is starting to
    appear. The grass is so wet it squelches.

    At the river the geese and ducks are sizing up their territory, looking for
    prime nesting sites. The shoreline seems almost naked. Instead of lush
    greenery there are skeletons of leafless branches, from mature trees to
    stick jungles of bush stems bereft of foliage. Even the 'colour seems faded.
    It's as if the winter has sapped some of their colour as well.Though close
    up the buds of new growth have begun to appear.

    More than a few people are out and about. There is nothing so amusing as
    Canadians drinking in the first days of springlike weather - even after a
    mild winter. And all those wonderful young ladies shedding their parkas to
    drink in sun certainly provide motivation.

    I ride the east/west length of the river trail, down on one side, returning
    on the other. After a winter of mostly stationary biking I exhilarate in the
    _motion_, the movement. Rather than the futility of stationary cycling my
    effort is being transformed into results.

    I sprint just in the sheer joy of going faster. In some of the soggier
    parts I become mud splattered. That is all to the good as well. A squirrel
    darts about, joining the ducks and geese in rooting out the first morsels of
    the new season.

    The river itself has given up it's leaden winter pallor. It reflects the
    washed out blue of the sky. The wind has also changed it's character.
    Although brisk and bracing in a manner that you feel deep in your lungs it
    lacks the bite of a winter winds. It is welcome in carrying of the
    perspiration.

    Having retraced the river back to my street I head south again up from the
    river. The exertion is enjoyable, like an old friend. The dormant muscles in
    my legs recall that familiar cycle - different from swimming, different from
    even the stationary bike. The upslope beckons me to sprint harder.

    Not a long ride, maybe 20 km. Just a shakeout to start the season. But that
    indefinable something about fresh air exercise compared to indoor gives
    double the effect somehow.

    I hope tomorrow is nice as well.
     
    Tags:


  2. cycle-one

    cycle-one Guest

    Typo

    "cycle-one" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > At the river the geese and ducks are sizing up their territory, looking
    > for prime nesting sites. The shoreline seems almost naked. Instead of lush
    > greenery there are skeletons of leafless branches, from mature trees to
    > stick jungles of bush stems bereft of foliage. Even the 'colour seems
    > faded. It's as if the winter has sapped some of their colour as
    > well.Though close up the buds of new growth have begun to appear.


    Should read:

    'Even the evergreen's colour seems faded.'
     
  3. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "cycle-one" <[email protected]> writes:

    > I start off going south: Even the stone dust paths are springy; still
    > swollen with the spring melt. In some places the paths are outright muddy -
    > waiting for the works department to redust them and fill weather-heaved
    > potholes. Even some of the paved slopes are showing wear, roots straining
    > mightily to break through.


    Yup, 'tis the season of potholes. I think Vancouver got off relatively
    easily this year, compared to last, as we didn't have many hard freezes.

    > More than a few people are out and about. There is nothing so amusing as
    > Canadians drinking in the first days of springlike weather - even after a
    > mild winter. And all those wonderful young ladies shedding their parkas to
    > drink in sun certainly provide motivation.


    In a lot of places, drinking in public is an offense :)

    > I hope tomorrow is nice as well.


    It's sure wonderful when it's time to revert back
    to fingerless gloves, ain't it?


    cheers,
    Tom

    --
    -- Nothing is safe from me.
    Above address is just a spam midden.
    I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn [point] bc [point] ca
     
  4. cycle-one

    cycle-one Guest

    "Tom Keats" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > Yup, 'tis the season of potholes. I think Vancouver got off relatively
    > easily this year, compared to last, as we didn't have many hard freezes.


    There is this one not far from home - It isn't large in length or width but
    I swear it goes halfway through the Earth's crust.
     
  5. Dane Buson

    Dane Buson Guest

    cycle-one <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > "Tom Keats" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >
    >> Yup, 'tis the season of potholes. I think Vancouver got off relatively
    >> easily this year, compared to last, as we didn't have many hard freezes.

    >
    > There is this one not far from home - It isn't large in length or width but
    > I swear it goes halfway through the Earth's crust.


    I have a favorite. It's located right at the portion of a hill where I
    hit about 45-50 MPH. Oooh, and for bonus points, it's located right in
    the right wheeltrack, which it's where I'm normalled riding.

    --
    Dane Buson - [email protected]
    In Marseilles they make half the toilet soap we consume in America, but
    the Marseillaise only have a vague theoretical idea of its use, which they
    have obtained from books of travel.
    -- Mark Twain
     
  6. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "cycle-one" <[email protected]> writes:
    >
    > "Tom Keats" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >
    >> Yup, 'tis the season of potholes. I think Vancouver got off relatively
    >> easily this year, compared to last, as we didn't have many hard freezes.

    >
    > There is this one not far from home - It isn't large in length or width but
    > I swear it goes halfway through the Earth's crust.


    There's a small but nevertheless significant dip in the pavement
    on the northbound side of Ontario St, just before 28th Ave, right
    in the line that bicycles go. I hate hittin' it, but a glance in
    my handy-dandy handlebar-mounted Mirrycle mirror invariably reveals
    a car coming up fast behind me. So rather than swerving around
    the li'l crater, I hop it instead. Then the driver behind me backs
    off, scared to pass me. Hopping an intrinsicly heavy MTB that's
    bedecked with a whole bunch of accessories, including a milk crate
    full of stuff, makes a pretty dramatic impact. And it ain't as
    easy as hopping a naked road bike.

    Anyways, I'm told the City of Vancouver has a bicycle hotline
    phone number, where cyclists can report the presence of potholes,
    and the City will fix 'em. They might put up "Detour" sawhorses
    and take a week or two doing it, but it'll get done. Eventually.


    cheers,
    Tom

    --
    -- Nothing is safe from me.
    Above address is just a spam midden.
    I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn [point] bc [point] ca
     
  7. "Tom Keats" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > Anyways, I'm told the City of Vancouver has a bicycle hotline
    > phone number, where cyclists can report the presence of potholes,
    > and the City will fix 'em. They might put up "Detour" sawhorses
    > and take a week or two doing it, but it'll get done. Eventually.



    There used to be this horrible juniper that used to extend out far out into
    the street, and then, just past it, a pothole. The juniper was hard to see
    in the dark on the PM commute, but if you managed to dodge it, you were far
    enough out into the street that you'd likely miss the pothole.

    One day I was riding home in the late afternoon, and the resident there was
    trimming other things in his yard, and I stopped asked him to trim the
    juniper, too. He looked at it, and then declined taking action. Then I felt
    quite justified in asking the City to do something. They both trimmed back
    the juniper and also patched the pothole -- and another just a block away. I
    think it took them a month, but it did get done.

    They've now filled four potholes I've reported over the years. I'd like to
    think of it as being very nice of them, but really, you pay for it in taxes
    or you pay for it in blown rims. I'd rather pay the taxes.

    --
    Warm Regards,

    Claire Petersky
    http://www.bicyclemeditations.org/
    See the books I've set free at: http://bookcrossing.com/referral/Cpetersky
     
  8. recycled-one

    recycled-one Guest

    After a wet Friday and Saturday I got back out today supposedly cooler and
    less windy:

    Temp: 10c
    Wind: E 10 kmh


    Man! Those 4 degrees C make a difference. Oh. I still worked up a sweat but
    it was quite bit more brisk. And I think Enviroment Canada was fibbing about
    the 10 kmh winds. Even though I worked up a sweat I got goose bumps on my
    arms from the stiff breeze.

    I went north to the lake. Last year well into April there was still a bit
    of snow under the trees up there. I was curious to see if there was any this
    year.

    Nope. Though things were much wetter.

    "His father was a mudder. His _mother_ was mudder"

    Something unusual about a stretch of MUP on the east side of the river:
    Instead of stone dust they use wood chips. I'm guessing as the area is low
    lying wetland it works better so that the water level can ebb and flow
    without the path blocking it or getting washed out. It does seem to work.
    The path is always dry even though there is standing water all around. While
    further on, on higher drier ground the stone dust MUP is almost washed out
    in sand sodden as the city has not re-laid the path yet this year.

    OTOH. Mud is FUN! Coming back, mudsplattered I stopped for the first DQ
    chocolate dip of the season - and the first brain freeze.

    A little longer today 30 km.
     
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