The weather is quickly changing and the days are growing progressively shorter. I’m not happy thinking about the months of ice and snow and sub-freezing temperatures that loom in the near future so I resent every moment and commitment that keeps me from being outside and on the road. Winter is when I am forced to live vicariously through my various builds and magazines and the internet. So the time to live and ride is at hand.
A few days ago I extended an invitation to other like-minded vintage cycling enthusiasts to join me on a steel bike ride this morning. The plan was to meet up at Smithville Lake, which is about twenty miles north of home, and ride around part of the lake, through Smithville, and loop back around again.
But if everyone who was thinking of joining in on this mornings ride headed out into the same headwinds I experienced on the way up to the lake, it would certainly explain why the wife and I were the only ones to show up at the pre-arranged meeting point.
But heck, we’d made our way all the way up to Paradise, Missouri and it seemed pointless not to struggle a few more miles north. The winds were absolutely fierce. Flags flew perpendicular from poles, flapping ferociously and threatening to rip from the cords tenuously binding them. Dried leaves were constantly airborne.
It seemed appropriate – and very French – to carry a bottle of red wine and a roasted chicken in my front bag, having decided to ride my slower, heavier randonneur this morning. The weight and stability of the Shogun 2000 worked to my advantage in the stiff winds though, and the return trip was much like riding in a wind tunnel, pushing us along at an easy and very swift pace.
And the worst part of the ride turned out to be the regrettably bad red wine I chose to carry all that way, and which was barely palatable with our luncheon.