Today I used part of my midday break (I get about 2 hours in the middle of the day, as the shop now keeps somewhat unconventional hours) to go for a bike ride. It was a short ride, just a little over 6 miles, but a lovely one. I'm lucky in that the shop is only a block or so from our major rail trail, the Washington and Old Dominion.
What set today apart was that it was the first ride in a long while that felt like a winter ride. It may not be technically winter yet, but it sure felt like it today. High temperature in the 30s, with a wind chill making it feel like the 20s!
Speaking of wind, for the three miles out, it was all about a headwind, and a brisk one at that. Made for some chilly fingers, especially since I hadn't really expected it to be so cold, and had just some light wool gloves. Brrrrr! But it was a beautiful ride, with the afternoon light slanting through the trees casting some great shadows and slashes of dazzling light.
Very few other people on the trail, most of whom were running or walking, not cycling. Around here, I think most folks hang up their bikes for the winter, or put them on a trainer. I own a trainer, and I used to pull it out in winter and set my bike up on it, ride it a few times, then give up in boredom. Nowadays, I don't even bother to pull it out... I'd rather be out there fighting the wind and braving the cold than feeling like a hamster on a wheel, not matter how good my music is (for the record, King Crimson's "Discipline" CD always worked for me). Even with rain or snow, there's something more satisfying in an outdoor bike ride for me. And on a day like today, what's not to like?