Sunday, December 04, 2011

Attitude adjustment

Alaskans have a saying: There is no bad weather, only bad gear. There’s a lot of truth in that.

But a bad attitude can be worse than sketchy weather. Knowing that the forecast looked grim and our sweet winter trails were about to get nuked, I forced myself out for a ride Saturday afternoon. Rain was falling as I drove to the trailhead, and roads were already getting wicked slick. I thought about turning around and heading home before things got worse.

Moose Meadow, Saturday afternoon.

When I reached the parking lot, I stuck my arm out of the window to test the rain-to-sleet ratio. My legs were tired from a week of commuting, and I knew I was looking for an excuse to bail out and go home. The rain seemed to be turning to sleet, so I grumpily pulled out my Fatback, strapped on a helmet and decided to ride for 10 or 15 minutes just to check the conditions.

Despite the shitty-looking weather, riding conditions were awesome. I pedaled slow and easy because of my tired legs, but I hit favorite trails like Thread the Needle and Brown Bear, enjoying the flow and watching most of the precipitation bounce off the sleeves of my jacket.

It was one of those rides that leave me wondering why I ever considered not getting out. Two hours after I started, I got back to my car with a wet jacket, an ice-covered bike and a smile on my face.

I drove home slowly on ice-covered streets, and then spent Saturday night and all day Sunday watching Mother Nature wreak havoc on what had been a really nice Alaska winter. Warm rain and hurricane-force winds kicked the crap out of Anchorage. Who knows how many trees have fallen across the trails, or how much overflow has ruined stream crossings that only recently hardened up?

I damn near didn’t ride Saturday. Now that I don’t know when conditions will improve, I’m really glad I did.


Leo said...

Ride anyway

Jennoit said...

Nicely done Tim. I have trouble being out when the weather sucks, too. Rain is, in my opinion, the worst. And I think you have sent some of that Alaskan warmth our way. It's raining and 5C/41F out there right now. Blech.

Tim said...

Sorry, Jen. Alaska did its best to suck all the moisture out of that system before it headed your way. I guess we'll just have to share some of it with you!

Flyboy said...

Always have some of my best rides on those days that I just don't feel like it, so I know exactly what took mean.