When I crested the ridge and saw the wall of white bearing down on me, I didn't immediately think "I'm hosed". But I did, in a not undignified way, push much harder to get a bit ahead of it. When I finally had no choice but to stop (poised on the tip of the storm) to add all of my meager layers, I was acutely aware that I was underprepared in the gear department. Note to self: It's finally winter, plan ahead. Then it swallowed me up in a whirling, pounding, barely-10-feet-of-visibility slice of glorious madness.
Rolling across the top the snow piled up on my gloves, in the crooks of my elbows, on the bridge of my nose, and made a little shelf on the lip of my light, further obscuring the ground. The wind whipped and screamed, pushing me everywhere but on the line I'd chosen. Just had to keep pedaling, wasn't gonna stay warm any other way.
I knew that somewhere between here and town the snow would turn to rain, at which point there'd be spray off the tires that I was unprepared for. I also knew that at that point I'd be racing numbness home. Cresting the last rise and seeing the lights of town far below, I braced myself for an uncomfortable descent.
But it never got that bad. Partially because I got off and ran, twice, to produce a bit more heat. But also because as I descended the temps rose. At the top my hands had been marginally functional: right at the point where they were still painful and that pain tells me that, at least for now, all is OK. I expected the pain to be gone by the bottom, replaced by numbness and with just a few minutes before things got really bad. But the warm valley temps never let things get there. I alternately shook warm blood out into each hand as I got opportunities to take them off the bars, and this helped too.
Rolling through town hands were tolerably painful, and I started to relax and even smile, thinking back to the whirling maelstrom that continued up on top. I like to be reminded of how fragile life is and how shortsighted I am a few times a year. No better way to freshen one's perspective than to get pimp slapped by ma nature. Rolled up the driveway, hung the bike on the stand to remind me to lube 'er up later, then beat feet for the house.
Is there any one word that can describe fumbling the door open with cold hands only to be greeted by 95lbs of tail-wagging-happy-dog that wants nothing more than for your hands to be all over him? Grins.
The capper for the evening was exiting the shower revived, nuking a bowl of pesto pasta, tearing off a hunk of artisan bread, then settling in here to find 2mb of pics recently sent by Brad.
The frame is welded!
The fuel box is added. Note small tubes connecting top, down, and seat tubes for uninterrupted fuel flow:
Gratuitous butt shot:
Exit port for fuel:
Still needs cable guides and stops, disc tabs, blasting and decals, but that stuff is easy-cheesy. If you're Brad, that is...
The day approaches!