Sunday, February 28, 2010

Epic--I was trying to earn a Darwin award.

I have to admit that I was really looking forward to today's ride as it has been a while since I have ridden with anyone else and I really needed a break from the trainer and the long cold solo missions. Given the recent weather, I was not sure it would happen. This morning's walk home left me even more doubtful because the roads were pretty much covered with slush. I got home and went to bed and vaguely remember Chris leaving a message on the machine saying it was on for 2:30. I love riding with Chris--he's a great guy, super fit and we always seem to push a little harder when we ride together. Chris is somewhat sick--he is training for the Furnace Creek 508 which he plans to do on a fixie. 508 miles on a geared bike is just wrong, let alone a fixed gear.
We got out by 2:30 and it was surprisingly pleasant out, although it felt a touch colder than the 42 degrees our defunct thermometer was reading. I usually wait and see what Chris wants to do, given that he is riding the fixed gear, it's only fair that he choices the route. He almost always comes up with something I have not done before which is always cool. Today we headed up Middlefield Center Road which is about 10 miles of very subtle climbing and down into the village of Cherry Valley where I found a nice little coffee shop which, of course, was closed.

Quite nice heading out Middlefield Center Road.

From Cherry Valley, we headed over a longer climb on one of the back roads which brought us into Sharon Springs. This was all good and new territory for me so I was excited--time was passing by quickly and today's required 2.5 hrs was going to be a breeze.

A few flurries heading into Sharon Springs.

We briefly stopped in Sharon Springs to decide which way to get back home when we realized it was 4:30 and we had at best 1.5 hours of daylight and no matter which way we went, we would need every bit of 1.5 hours to get home.

Chris blasting away on the one cog--he sick!

We decided to go south on Rt. 10 for about 5 miles, then turn west on 165. Rt. 165 is a rolling 10 miles with one hill which is a steady 13% grade for maybe half a mile, dumping us out on Rt 166 where we turned south again for 7 miles before we turn right onto Murphy Hill for the final 3.5 miles to home.

The sun was starting to set as we came across the valley--still 10 miles from home.

The calm before the storm.

Here it comes.

Great, except 5 miles before we were to turn up Murphy Hill, it started snowing like crazy, which was bad enough, but add in the fact that it was 6 pm and getting really dark, things got really sketchy. In 10 minutes the road was covered with snow, making it super slick--luckily we were only passed by enough cars to scare the shit out of us. I could just see a car being surprised by the 2 idiots on bikes, slamming on the brakes and sliding smack into us.
Great--2 doctors earn a Darwin Award for riding in a snow storm at night without lights, not so surprising that they got run over. We finally called it quits as we turned onto Murphy Hill, we could barely get enough traction to ride the wheels and were spinning out with every other turn of the cranks. I finally got through to Cora who, as always, was kind enough to come bail us out.

I can't see!

Now it's epic--getting scary!

Now it was just crazy--we pulled the plug here as we started up Murphy Hill.
All in all, 3.5 hours--good times.

I'm looking forward to my rest week--maybe I can get some painting done around the house--we'll see. I'm off to bed now--busy day ahead--wish us luck--tomorrow is the Iceman registration and the practice ride sign up for both Mt. Washington/Newton's Revenge.


Bigdave said...
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Bigdave said...

Darwin awards are for people who have no idea what a Darwin award is. So, by your own admission you can't win it. Sorry. What we have here is a failure to they say. The actual award would be retardation by car vs. bike. You already know how ill advised that scenario is. As your friend and sometime training partner this is not condoned! C help me out here. Start earlier and keep to local loops when out late...not out and backs to unfamiliar backward places in BFE. Looks like good fun though, and after my rant I wish I was there too. As you know, I would have been the idiot pushing for just one more ill advised hill in the darkness with no blinky.