The sloppy streets of spring are a wonderful reminder of one of the benefits of winter riding: patience.
Cyclists who stay inside all winter get antsy this time of year. The anticipation is too much. They have to ride.
Problem is, it's hard to find a stretch of dry pavement that runs more than quarter-mile before running into a few hundred yards of flowing, dirty meltwater. I saw a roadie in my neighborhood on Sunday afternoon as he rolled home on a nice Cannondale covered in muddy goo. Half a block behind him were two more riders on mountain bikes that were as dirty as the stripes up the riders' backs.
After a winter of riding, I'm feeling pretty patient. I can wait out another week or so of spring thaw to spare myself the constant cleaning and maintenance that comes with subjecting a bike to shitty conditions. Good thing, too, because my head was a throbbing ball of pain last week anyway, thanks to a bad cold. I'm just now starting to climb back on the trainer and clear the crud from my lungs.
Michelle, who writes the Chain Driven blog up in the Valley, found a different way to cope with a late spring thaw: whitewater tubing. Talk about frigid bits. Yeah, that'll give 'em a chill.