Lately for whatever reason I have been lusting after the experience way more than the constant effort to keep up with the latest technology. I'm not driving anywhere to ride, I'm kitting up and riding out my door, bundled almost as to test the limits of the so-called winter gear. One tip from me for all of the companies out there; make your shit breathe. We generate plenty of heat in the winter but the moisture lingers, and I'm not a big sweater. 
When I was in high school I had a few years of riding already in my legs on a hand-me-down Ross 10 speed and I finally got a pair of road shoes, I couldn't afford Sidis (not much has changed) so I ended up with a sweet pair of Dettos.
These lasted years, I used to re-glue the upper to the sole every month and the toe clip strap wore a hole in the side of the shoe next to my pinky toe. Everyday, about 2 hours before school and then another 90 minutes after school. Only using old issues of Winning to figure out what training was. Dodging stoned classmates and wanting to be Dave Stohler out on the roads made me smile, usually alone, who else rode before Lemond and then Armstrong put road cycling on the map in the Eastern US? I had a wool jersey and 1 pair of shorts I washed every day. Not much else was needed, I'd wear jeans if it was cold and/or long underwear, who could afford tights back then, coming from a traditional sports family I would've had better luck asking for a new baseball glove (I didn't play baseball after age 10) than help getting me winter/cold weather cycling gear.



I'm out on the road, hiding in plain sight, putting in my early miles thru the late winter sun/sleet, instead of complaining about it all I'm instead closing out the noise, pulling on the shoe covers everyday to clear my head and fill my legs. No feigning apathy or ennui, just a clear determination to make the most of the good weather. No car time to ride, there are roads at 9000 feet that are out my door. Not going for the roads that are at 5000 feet that may be cleaner, warmer and more hospitable. At least the pedals are turning.



Negotiating with myself to get the most time I can for the window with which it needs to fit. A bit more of a buffer than I have had in years past but nonetheless I welcome the time and subtle ache after a few consecutive hard(er) days. I know the acid builds like water behind a beaver dam until it breaks, whether I opt for time off the bike or the weather beats me to the punch. Train with the sun right now and when the snow comes an hour on the rollers feels earned. Work done, not a source to walk through kitchen empty handed, for fear of slowness later in the spring. Bargaining with the head in place, so the legs to go fast later.



The ache from yesterday sharpened overnight into the unclear fatigue that comes from nothing. I mean nothing- as in I didn't do a goddam thing. Weak and tired I limped through the day chased by the hunger that comes from a bigger week. Today is better, happily pseudo rested and ready to start digging another hole.



Crisp, but not fried... Broken dishes, clearly there is much more work to be done before number 1.  Listening to the wind quiets and drowns out the negative, leaving more than just good and bad, happy to be pedaling and feeding the addiction of the nightly ache in the legs. I don't know what the substitute would be...without the bike I'd find something I suppose. At least for now I'm clear, not good, not fast, but I get to feel like I'm getting to that place.



All parts of the buffalo have a use, whether they are the offal cuts or the prime it all has a purpose. The work is finding them within the piles. Leaving behind heaps and mounds too thick that the sounds are faded and the rotting of the flesh mixes with the too sweet, the saccharine wafts out to leave the nose stronger than the shovel, more focused than the eye. I try to listen and fail, then the good pieces are left over where I haven't been, left in plain sight. Crisp and clear like a ribbon of asphalt pushed thru the forest, meandering where the topography allows, like a swiftly established stream, days or weeks instead of eons.



Monkey in the middle with who knows what on either side, I guess that puts me in the middle. I have the wheels and the long view. The edge, long point of the view isn't a sunny place, Sunshines only so far, so long and then it's light fades, the trick, the key and the solution is to get your own light on and clear the path, cut out a patch of light from the long night.