Who would have guessed it is January in Wisconsin with temperatures almost hitting a balmy 40 degrees today! I was a bit bummed that it was raining on Saturday so we couldn’t ski by candlelight at the Kettles, but I honestly can’t complain that it is warm enough to rain!
Dave and I decided to take advantage and go for a short road ride this afternoon. I have commuted by bike pretty much every day this winter and today’s road conditions were the best that I’ve seen since before it snowed 17″ more than a month ago! The City of Madison has done a poor job of cleaning the streets, but thankfully the bike lanes have been in pretty good condition. I definitely feel more comfortable riding my bike than driving in winter (and I can practice my technical skills on the slick ice patches!).
Anyway our ride went well–it felt surprisingly good to ride slick tires–until we hit some deep ice water that totally soaked our feet. Dealing with the cold is one thing, but dealing with it when you are wet is something else entirely–we had to get home as soon as possible to avoid frostbite. On the way back we saw tons of runners and a few were actually wearing shorts and tee-shirts! It made me cold just to look at them.
Despite the cleaner roads, I think I will stick to the trainer, lake loops and bike paths for a while. We did not see anyone else riding outside of town and though Madison is bike-friendly, it’s still too early for cars to expect cyclists on the roads. I feel really good mentally and physically on the bike and I’m happy that I’ve carried a lot of my fitness through cyclocross and into the “off-season.” Winter here can be brutal, but it doesn’t seem to be so bad this year. It was nice to pretend that it was spring even for an afternoon but I am anxious to ride some trails again!