Somewhere south of Perishing

Winter sucks. We know this to be a truth, not only because our frozen bones testify to its veracity, but because Aerostich make a mug that tells us so. But, (if I may be allowed to dust off an A-level extended essay on the Romantic Poets for a moment), the fact that winter sucks tells us one thing – that spring is not far behind. Some days (mostly the cold, wet ones) I think it would be great to live in a place like California, with lots of year-round sunshine and every day a good riding day. But then I think about the handful of days we get here in Blighty each year that tell us the seasons are turning. Yesterday and today were two such. While I love riding on a cold, crisp winter day, the sun is ornamental rather than useful – it shines but there is no warmth in it, while Ruby’s seat stays cold until it’s sucked the heat out of my blood and equalized our temperature somewhere south of Perishing. Yesterday, heading out to a Mojo Triangle rehearsal (significant advantage of playing blues harp: kit fits in a topbox) was the first ride this year that the sun warmed up my legs from the outside. There’s also a change in the nature of the wind, from sharp, cold and biting to round, blunt, and less likely to strike through any tiny gap in my thermal layering.

I cherish these days, especially those when winter turns to spring, because they promise long adventures called to a halt by tiredness and the call of a good camping spot, not painful rides cut short by being unable to feel my feet, and I think life without them would be just that little bit duller.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Somewhere south of Perishing

  1. Riding in less than ideal weather is character building. It certainly makes me appreciate the arrival of spring even more.

  2. I know just where you are coming from, but my ride from Victorville to San Bernardino in late-April 2006 rid me of the idea of superb 'California weather'! Snow turning to lashing rain, temp just above freezing, thick mist and a belting good breeeze, six-lane highway full of cars….damn, I was FRIGHTENED!

  3. MarkE

    I use the bike almost all year (I confess I'm none too enthusiastic about ice & snow), but I would happily limit myself to late spring, all of summer and early autumn (especially as we are still in what has been four years (!) of winter. For this reason, if Bill Gates or Warren Buffett ever realise I am a worthy recipient of their wealth (I am a really nasty person and need to be punished by having all the problems great wealth apparently causes) I would want two homes; one in southern Europe as a base for touring Europe from May to October, and one in the southern hemisphere (New Zealand looks nice) as a base from November to April. Obviously I would spend a lot of time travelling to other parts of the world, but these would do as my main bases.

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