I've been hearing the stories of two of my friends and their so called man rides. Jacob and Tristan are always trying to up the level so i thought I would see where I was at in man ride toughness. It was going to be the perfect setting for it. Minus 10, windy and I had a climbing day. The sun was out which was a bonus but any warmth that it was going to put out was going to but cancelled out with the windchill.
I had an upper and a lower time limit for my ride. I was planning for the upper time but I knew it would be tough to pull off in these conditions. To even make the ride possible was as much a work out as the ride. The layers of clothing that went on added easily 15 pounds to my body. My feet have always been the hardest part to keep warm so I tried something new. Marina wool socks followed by a thin cycling sock. Then came the plastic bag over the feet. The shoes came next then my medium weight booties topping it off with the neoprene booties. Maybe???
As for body, who would have ever thought that I would use my fleece lined cold weather paddle synthetic shirt as a base layer. This thing is awesome for cold canoe adventures and worked amazing as the first layer followed by another warm fleece winter jersey and then my MCC team jacket. I was going to stay warm today, whether or not I could actually move was not on higher side of the list.
I swear it took 15 minutes to get all the clothes on but I rolled out with the cross bike with a route in mind. I originally thought of going to Hardwood the hilly way but the speed in the temperature is pretty low and I didn't think I would even make it with the upper time limits so i opted for the biggest hills in the Oro Medonte area. These all seem to be surrounding a certain ski resort.
The conditions were not to bad, lots of clear pavement on the heavily used road like Vasey line. The wind was pretty steady and I tried to break up things with direction switches as much as I could. Every time I was starting to feel a little chill or my feet gave a tingle I would modify the route a little and manage to warm back. Didn't really matter which way I went because this whole area is either uphill or downhill. I tried to find the longer uphills since they didn't hurt as much as the downhill.
Climbing the 4th line my feet were a little mad at me but again managed to warm up just before the bail out left turn so I continued on towards Copeland forest. This area happens to run along the side of the snowmobile trail and again I got lots of strange looks and some random thumbs up. Underneath their helmets they were probably saying look at that nut!!!!
Just over the two hour mark I rolled into Mt St. Louis ski resort for a quick warm up. Now you think the snowmobilers look at you funny you should see the looks all the skiers gave me. A large hot chocolate, didn't want to trust their coffee, and I sat out in the sun watching everyone stand in a lift line. Nope don't miss it much. I saw flashbacks of my early twenties with the ski school lesson bell. I spent many a good years playing at this resort.
Now jacked up with sugar I made my way to the hill of hills, the 7th line runs parallel with the resort. If they ski down it I should be able to ride up it. And I did a nice steady 2 song climb to the top. Feeling pretty good. I started to watch the time a little more but continued to zig zag concessions for shorter runs into the head wind. Of course I had to stop here.
The horse was pretty bored and came right over to me. He did try and eat my glove.
No ride is ever complete without some random turn and this was the one I took down a logging road. Had to check and see if they went straight to the next concession. They didn't.
As I made my way to the home stretch it was all in the right timing. Long section into the head wind finally started to take it;s toll on me and my feet began to get cold quickly. Didn't matter much as the ride was a success. Lots of climbing, 3:40 in time and very little time spent inside. Just a line up in the chalet. I'm into a recovery week this week which is going to be well received. The body is feeling the last 3 weeks.
Looks like the boys may need to butch up a little for their next ride. Me, I'm going to drink some more coffee and continue thawing out