Well, out on the a.m. whoop-ass road ride today, things were cool and damp for the first 22-24 miles, and the 5 or 6 of us were feeling pretty good. All the trails are super-saturated right now what with a welcome and unexpectedly wet week. So on the road this morning we took the extended loop which has good roller hills for another 10 miles or so, hoping those dark clouds re-building would be kind enough to hold off for another 45 minutes or so. Well, no such luck. After the first climb, it started spitting freezing rain. Then the wind kicked up. Then big fat wet snowflakes belched forth from the sky, sticking to any forward facing surface, like knees and ankles and hands. Then it was frozen rain/hail, just the right size to sting like a mofo, all the while trying to finish out the hills for the 4-5 mile fast run home. Did I mention the temperature dropping 10 degrees since we had left? Oh yesssss. One of the fellas I was riding with is a self-proclaimed washed up hippie pro, making a strong return to road racing this season. Even he was a little daunted, though he mentioned some of the early season races in europe he did back in the day would go for 4 or 5 hours like this. Where your big leg muscles can't ever seem to warm up to the point where they operate with any efficiency, your hands are half numb the whole way and you are soaked to the bone at the starting line. Though I remain a diehard passionate mountain biker, I am gaining a LOT of respect for the road(ies) out there. Discipline, super-human stamina and toughness are all found on the road at least as often as on the trail!
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