My work day is done and I sit at my table putting finger to keyboard as the mercury continues its way down the incrementally marked tube indicating that another night of freezing temperatures await us. I find myself wrapped up in my blanket hoping that someday in the future I will again enjoy the pleasures of wood stove heat or the ecstasy of backing up to an open hearth fire to warm my very core. In the dimming light of the day, I watch out the window as the grey flat clouds skitter across the top of Cold Mountain in the flat profile that so often portends a snowfall.
Through my window to the north, my neighbor tends two large bonfires he has going on his property. I’m hoping he doesn’t set the mountain on fire for the 4th or is it now the 5th time since moving here. Fighting brush fires in freezing weather just can’t be any fun! But, hey, I opened this with the thought that it was time for the GOOD NEWS! …and so it shall be….While there may only be 22.5 more shopping days until Christmas, the much more important number here is the GOOD NEWS FOR THE DAY! There are only 18.5 days left until THE DAYS GET LONGER AGAIN! Yes, that’s right, let me be the first to post it. We’re nearly there! The days are almost getting longer again! Our inexorable journey from June 21, 2010 to December 21, 2010 is nearly over! Celebrate the GOOD NEWS or, at least, the good news for those of us not living in the sunbelt!
I sometimes feel as if I’m whining about the cold weather settling into the mountains. I do enough reading of cycling blogs around the world to know that many, many hearty souls get out and do some serious winter riding. Entire cultures don’t bat an eye at riding in, what to me, is inclement weather. For an example of some beautiful winter riding, click on over to Cycling Experiences and my friend Jim Artis’s post of the day. You’ll see how a culture has adapted to self-powered 2 wheeled transportation year round!
It’s not as if I don’t ride in the winter. Heck, I have photographic evidence of my journeys last year during what turned out to be a REAL winter in the mountains of Western North Carolina for a change.
(Zeke riding in the snow remnants on skinny tires)
(NOT Zeke riding in snow! I call this one the “lil black dress”)
I’m feeling warmer already. I must be acclimating to the cooler temperatures that by February I’ll consider to be balmy riding conditions. Maybe by next year “Santa” will bring me that Salsa Fargo TI with 29” fat tires that I’ve been longing for… In fact, if the Salsa company will just go ahead and send me one free, I’ll PUT ON MY OWN ‘LIL BLACK DRESS and ride in the first available snowfall!
I’ve got one more sure fire way to warm up and then I’m outta here…
Remember, only 18.5 days until the days get longer! And that really is THE GOOD NEWS!
(Note: Still looking for a good Christmas present for the reader in your family? Run on over to Amazon.com via Kent’s Bike Blog and order up a copy of UP RIVER by my friend and fellow cyclist George Ivey. Read some sample pages here! It makes for a good read while snuggling up to that favorite person. Um, now I wonder where the Navigator is – I feel some reading coming on…)