I debated whether or not to post about my bike ride on Saturday for two big reasons:
One, I would be letting the world know how stupid I was, and Two, That I can be a complete ass at times.
However, for the sake of educating those around me to (hopefully ) prevent them from repeating my ass-like mistakes, I decided to go ahead and post...
Keith and I had planned to meet about 4-5 km away from the beginning of Highwood Pass on Saturday. We had talked about it throughout the week, and Keith had warned me of the shite weather that was coming. I kept warning him about how stubborn I was.
Sure enough, Friday night, the weather was so unbelievably crappy -- snow on my front lawn and freezing cold, that we decided to call off the ride in terms of safety. Highwood Pass tops out over 7200 ft, which is higher than Turtle Mountain right across the street from my house. I could very well see the amount of snow that was "up top."
A quick aside for non-mountain living folk -- when we talk about the weather we invariably talk about how much it has "snowed up top." Here's a conversation for example, "The weather looks like it might change." "Yeah! Did you see how much it snowed up top?" LOL!!!
Saturday morning rolls around and it was frigging cold outside. I was determined not to waste my hilly ride on my trainer, but to get out there and brave the elements.
Here is where my stupidity began to peek through...
I geared up -- read: double layers of everything except any kind of beanie under my helmet -- and headed out at 3:00pm.
About 35 minutes into the ride, it began to snow. The sky was black and dark gray -- it looked like it was 10:30pm, not the middle of the afternoon! The snow wasn't too bad, but the roads were drenched and full of puddles. I sort of took it easy going downhill, because I wasn't too sure about my skinny little tri bike tires on the wet surface.
Very soon thereafter, the snow turned to hail -- terrible hail. The kind that is accompanied by blasting wind. Sandblasting the hail against my cheeks, my face. Holy crap, it was so painful, I put my head down to look directly down and would only sneak a peak once in a while to see the road ahead.
Then it rained -- pummeling, cold rain. All the while, I kept asking myself, "Should I turn around? Is my core cold? Naw! I'm doing fine!" All the snow/rain/hail completely soaked my lower legs and feet. I never realized how thoroughly wet your feet can get in those cycling shoes during inclement weather.
Well, the saga went on and on. I could have (should have) turned around many many times, but I wanted to get in my full 3 hours outside. At one point, I was riding through a white out! On my frigging bike.
When I finally turned around, the weather had really deteriorated. On the way out, there were the occasional patches of dry pavement. On the way back, it was just a shitstorm all the way home.
There was a period of about 500m where I heard a funny noise from my tires and realized that it was because I was riding through a hail/slush/ice mix that had accumulated on the highway. Holy crap! I couldn't stop, I kept on pedaling.
When I finally got home, I was already planning ahead to change and go out for a 30 min run -- well that changed as soon as I started taking off my wet and filthy clothes. My feet were frozen solid. Then, when they started to warm up, they hurt so bad I wanted to cry. You know that feeling? Oh man, I sat on our heated bathroom floor and kept squeezing my feet trying to grimace my way through the pain.
I tried to talk to Mike and my voice was about 2 octaves lower than normal. It sounded like I was hungover from one heck of a party!
I missed my run and had a hot bath instead.
I was a dumbass on Saturday!
My good friend, Keith, let me have it in a very appropriate email he sent me the next day. What if a car had lost control and hit me because of the crap conditions? No race is held during conditions like that, so why ride outside? He laid a verbal smackdown and I deserved every single word of it.
Thanks for being a true friend, Keith!
I promise not to be a dumbass anymore! ;)