Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Solstice

It was a very chilly 3° when I let Jersey outside this morning, winter has officially arrived. The Solstice takes on so much more meaning the farther you live from the equator. When living in Maine, there was a significant and real sense that some of the weight was being lifted off when this day arrived on the calender. It had already been months of shortened dark days and although there were more than a few cold, snowy days ahead, a least they came with some additional light on both sides (even if was a just few minutes a week ). The corner had been turned.

My commutes this week were a true mixed bag of the elements. Monday morning was below zero with some fresh snow on the ground. By Thursday evening we were getting massive, balmy gusts of wind, a few that literally blew me off the bike path into the grass and brought me to a dead stop. I had to actually consider getting off and walking it was blowing so hard ! The Panaracer 45c tires on my Surly have been great on the snow, ice and dirt but they are so painfully slow on the pavement, I need to find something with a smaller block tread. I really like the look of the Kenda Small Block 8's, seems like a decent balance between low rolling resistance and traction, but the widest they offer is a 35c. I'd like to find something wider to keep the flotation factor as high as possible. Since there's a mixture of pavement and dirt on my commute with the added winter elements thrown in, it's always a matter of weighing the pro's and con's.

After the past 9 solid weekends of racing it's a little strange not to be running around the house gathering up bit and pieces of clothing, water bottles, GU packs to toss into the gear bag. ( those activities have been substituted by preparing for the 25th. ). My Jamis arrived back from KC via brown Santa (UPS) on Tuesday with a bent rear derailleur hanger. I replaced that with a fresh one on hand and gave the bike a pro wash before one last tune and then it goes on the hook until perhaps a dirt ride up to the Academy and back.

I also made the very difficult decision to put my old Sidi's out to pasture. I'm pretty sure they're at least 10 years old and they are getting seriously soft in the sole. I pulled the spikes off and will continue to use them for commuting. They've been replaced by a new pair of Specialized kicks in ,yes......white ! These will be stored in a cool, dark, dry area until next fall.

We've just submitted artwork to Champion Systems clothing for a new Colorado Springs specific Srammie kit ( long and short-sleeved skinsuits!!...sweet!! ) so I'll post pics of those when they arrive sometime in Feb. or March. Although we're heading into cyclocross hibernation, here's to looking forward to the next season.

Thanks for reading, enjoy the Solstice

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