October 2, 2008

Fall is here, so let's get it ON

It's finally official, in my mind - not so much by the calendar or the sun angle, but the first few mentions of the words "Canadian Air Mass" in the forecast jargon. It's fall, kids. This is your midwest kinda fall, too -- excellent colors are beginning to show, and there is a chill in the night air and a sense and a smell to things that would take the better part of a novel to describe. It's magical, crisp like a ripe apple - warm and comforting like a good cup of perfect-temperature coffee at sunrise - bracing, like steping out of a hot shower into a cold, empty locker room. The invigoration of moist and cold morning air rushing into my jacket as I slip silently down a hill on a dark country lane, the headrush of breathing in deep while climbing a hill and feeling the chest expand with cool, 40 degree air. The feel of the inside of a good pair of trusty wool gloves, a warm cap, good socks, and the snaping flap of a wind vest against your back. I LOVE Fall - defintely my favorite cycling season. Beer, food, coffee, apples, cider, fresh bread, hot oatmeal, maple syrup -- EVERYthing tastes better this time of year after a ride. Latest treat included a cold New Belgium Fat Tire after a hard, fast and cool commute home last week. Always in moderation, Tony Sinclair eat your heart out.
Moderation is the theme this fall and winter.

This is the time of year, also, where commutes, resolve, all things become a little bit harder. At least its that way for me, year over year...but this year I'm planning on maintaining a pretty consistent weblog (hey, that's what this is!) about the falling temps, the precip, and more notes from the road as I make my way towards another Spring. By this, I hope to keep myself motivated and hopefully drop some good tips and discoveries along the way that will help keep you and your commuting quest on-track. Yeah, I love summer, too - but let's face it: its almost too easy. Starting right about now, when the first shots of Canadian air come down, it starts to get real.  So far it's comfortable and nice - but with the mildness of the summer leaving clues about the coming winter, I'm betting on challenges with temparatures within the next 30 days. 

To that end, the winter beater project is coming along -- about $30 away from having it running.  As it sits right now it doesn't have a drivetrain, but I have the rear wheel rebuilt and found some dumpster tires that will work for the time being until I can get studs on it.  Nokians are in the future - as the spring and summer were also wet, it's a fair bet there will be more of the same, which means black ice and such.  I'll be ready with this new beater for sure, then, moreso than in years past.  I've elected not to put a rack on it, for now, as when the weather gets THAT bad I'll probably be using the bus for most of the trip:  that means messenger bag, which I still have hanging around, and that means no fussing with panniers while trying to get the bike onto the bus rack, and easy passage into and out of the bus with all my belongings safe on my back.  That's the plan.  

So, you'll probably start to see more, shorter entries here as this turns into a more daily/bi-weekly commute log instead of just epic tales of long brevets.  Oh, yeah --- the march to R-12 will still continue as well, so THOSE tales will probably start to be a lot more about struggle than easy summer spinning.  It ought to be good, and I'm not planning on backing down.  Picking weekends, that will be tough, but with only four to go, and a really nice one coming up this weekend with excellent early fall weather on tap and possibly the last time I'll see a tailwind on this particular route - well, the last three will be tough.  Bring it.  

That's it for now kids ... nothing spectacular to report -- time for bed.  

Thanks for reading!

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