Thursday, December 31, 2009

I set the alarm to meet the Lion and T-Fed for a pre-snow ride this morning out of Holtsville.
The forecast on was for a small probability of light snow flurries up until 9:00 am and then an increasing chance as the morning progressed. I figured that once we got going, by the time the flurries started, we'd be already on our way south, having ridden through the nut-punch hills of the Lion's Flanders route, making for an epic ride back home.

Shortly after rolling out of the driveway the first flurries began... no problem... the weatherman promised it would be okay.
Warmth wasn't really a problem as the pace picks up after the requisite 30 second warm-up the ride leader graciously bestows.
Almost immediately, the snow picked up in intensity and our exposed faces became very cold. I know I was not alone, as I could tell from the ventriloquist sounding gibberish T-Fed was mumbling "What do you guys think?". What we 'thinking' (if you can call it that) was this is really stupid, but if they aren't turning around, neither am I... I am no wuss. What we said was something to the effect of the weatherman said it won't amount to anything and let's just keep riding... not a great idea.

Fortunately, heaven intervened and I smashed into a snow-filled pothole and the bottle of water I was taking for a ride flew out of its perch and caromed down the asphalt. Coming to a complete stop some thousand yards down the road, I gingerly made a "u-ey" and went back to retrieve it. By the time I made it back to my mates, they were still hunched over their bars... a clear sign they'd started to come to their senses. As anyone that has ever dropped a bottle knows, people slow down (sorta) while you go back to get it, or if you're lucky, opt to take a nature break, but they are always riding when you get back to your turnaround spot. These dudes were just standing there... a very good sign.

"What's up you punks, calling it quits you poofs?", I say. "What, you still wanna ride?" one of 'em says.
Perfectly executed turntable... ball back in my court... time to hitch up my skirt... I cave "We should go back or one of us is going to get killed". The six miles we'd ridden were terrible, far worse than 23c tires were using were designed to ride upon.
It took nearly twice as long riding home.

The ride home from Holtsville in the car was equally terrifying, as 4WD vehicle after 4WD vehicle raced on icy roads all the six miles back to Sayville. By the time I reached the intersection of 97 & 27A, I had seen 3 accidents (all including SUV's... stupid user vehicles?) Even though the ride was 45', it counts as my 4th outdoor ride since Thanksgiving... I am a trainer rat... and from's 10-day forecast, it will be another 10 days before I get another. Happy New Year.