Monday, January 21, 2013

Winter Bike

I stopped in to REI recently for some winter gear and a friendly gal at the checkout told me to embrace the ice and snow, it is Minnesota after all. Thanks, Rachel, I've been trying to get out. It is -9 Ferinheight now, and might get up to -4 today. Since I always have the holiday off, my wife and I have made a tradition of honoring MLK with a cross country ski outing. It is usually below zero, with the woods so still that all you hear is your breath and the snow squeaking beneath you as you glide through it.

I have been trying to keep pedaling though, and have been able to get some in most days of the week, in some form or another. When conditions got too sloppy to feel comfortable on my road bike, I dug out the old Raleigh EX mountain bike (circa 1993) out of the garage. I "inherited" it form my older brother when I needed a bike during college and he was living out of state.

It served me well and is old and ugly enough to remain with me after spending lots of time on a busy urban campus where bike theft abounds. I have promised to give it back to my brother, to whom it still holds a lot of sentimental value because he rode it every day for two years as a Mormon missionary. So I have to take care of it.

Still, it is essentially a fixed gear bike because I haven't had the time to spend on cable replacement and tune up, and the shifters are so putsy that it is not worth it to change gears. I also have put tires on to handle in the snow that are so fat they rub the front derailleur when on the inner gear.

I've been wanting to take it out in more snow, and have been itching to ride on the new light-rail tracks running from Minneapolis to Saint Paul that are not yet in use. I had my chance the other day after a fresh snowfall to do just that, for a stretch anyway , and it was a lot of fun.

My other winter bike this year has been at the YMCA in Saint Paul. One that Lance Armstrong would be proud of PEDs sold separately). I miss the wind in my face on those days that it is my only source of pedaling, but not so much on days like today.

Cross Country Skiing with Sarah

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