Sunday, April 14, 2013

Making a stink ...

 …to garner attention. 

You know about this?  The unremarkable little boy who grows up in the shadow if his exceptional older sister.  Or how about the month in the middle: not known for record setting temperatures (high or low) no splendorous autumnal colors or record setting harvests, no month long summer (or winter) vacation. April, a month of transition, trying to outdo March’s rage, (but lacking the tricks that February lends) or out mellow May, even though that freak 85° day will never pop up; not too hot, and not too cold, but unfortunately not juust right either. 

I rode the April Monthly Populaire yesterday, and April capitalized on the opportunity to catch me out and abuse me when my guard was down. I deserved it; I know April well enough to appreciate that though she does not deal the knockout punch, her left jab can certainly ring your bell. 

Some might say that driving 230 miles to ride 65 miles on your bike is, well questionable.  I could go on and on about how this makes sense, but consider this exchange of the day before:  

Friend: “…  No Problemo. Good all around. Doing the 100k this weekend. Cheers!” 

Me: “OK, I have half-way convinced myself to come up for that one tomorrow: 230 mile round trip drive to ride 100Km in the rain, ... makes perfect sense, right?”

Friend:  “Yes! That's the only way it makes sense!! :)”   

So there you have it.  If you are of the tribe, then it makes perfect sense, but just to add "two factor authentication", Brian and I did not garner the ‘coming the farthest distance’ award!  There was a rider there from Leavenworth.  Though technically, we drove more miles, we did not cross the cascade curtain, climbing and descending (over AND back) a snowy mountain pass.  ‘Real’ rando’s would have ridden to and from the start, but I’m not that real. 

This ride started in Snohomish, and proceeded north mostly on the Centennial trail, a paved multi-use path to the Lake McMurray store, and then returned by the same route.  My kind of brevet, three controls; start, turnaround, and finish. 

This route transits the ‘Puget Sound Convergence Zone’, a geo-meteorological phenomena which affords April a little nastiness turbo boost.  We have had a run of cool wet weather the last few weeks.  In the convergence zone this amounts to downright cold and miserable. Rain and wind are one thing (well, two things) but when that rain is just a degree or two warmer than pellets of ice (or, just a degree or two colder) it is painful. Heavy, cold rain, whipped by gusty winds sucks the warmth right out of you. 

By the time we made Arlington on the way back my fingers were numb, all the way to my palms.  Good thing we were riding the MUP, as I was unable to stop my bike using the brakes.  Slow it down for sure, but panic stop; not happening.  

I had a couple chemical toe warmers in my front bag so stopped to see if I could get them into my gloves.  The instructions say not to put them directly on your skin but to place them on your sox.  Well, I don’t wear sox inside my gloves, but took the chance, stuffing them in my gloves and it paid off.  Within an hour or so my fingers were no longer cadaver apendages.  

The irony along the route reinforced the notion that as a bad ass weather month, April is a poseur.  The Salmon berry was all leafed out and just starting to show those delicate pink blooms.  The willows were leafing out, and the skunk cabbage in the bogs was up and blooming as well.  In the natural world, April’s fury is just a passing temper tantrum, fodder for tulips. 

It was nice to ride with a group, to see folks I have not crossed paths with in a while.

Thanks to Allyson and Albert for volunteering to put this ride on.

1 comment:

  1. Hope all is well. I miss your posts. Jay