November-December 2001 Newsletter
From the President
by Earl Jones
Betwixt and Between
Iím writing this article on the weekend
that the weather changed. You know,
when itís too cold to wear short-sleeved
jerseys and bike shorts, but too warm for
tights and a windbreaker. Burn up wearing
the balaclava or go without and freeze
your ears off.
This is the in-between time when your
bodyís memory still hasnít forgotten the
heady warm days of summer and your senses
are picking up the unmistakable ó and
dreaded ó signs of the approaching winter.
(My enjoyment of really hot weather has
increased over the years, which Iíve decided
has more to do with advancing arthritis than
age, even if these two are highly correlated.)
Try as I might itís hard to make peace
with this in-between time. So, for a while,
Iíll arrive with a jumble of long-sleeved
jersey, tights, racing shells, and two
weights of jackets and gloves, which will
make the too-short time between my arrival
at the ride start and the scheduled
departure even shorter.
Anticipating the shock to the system, no
doubt, is worse than the shock itself. Like
taking a shower in an unheated room or
that first dip in the ocean. Iíve heard the
fall weather described as crisp, making it
sound like something everyone likes. Itís
not as if Iíve got a delicate constitution
(within the limits bounded by age and
conditioning). And itís not that I donít
ride in the cold. Iíll be fine in December
and January, when crisp has become cold.
But I do need is a strategy for the in-between
time. So I called Joe Ward, who, as a 24-year
veteran of year-round commuting to his job
as a reporter at the Courier-Journal, must
have developed one for all seasons.
Joe acknowledged that riding at this time
of year is more difficult than at other
times. His advice: Start out underdressed.
His strategy: ďJust keep the wind off you
for about a mile and before you know it
youíll be warm.Ē
In other words, suck it up and get over it.
Good practical advice for cycling during
the in-between times but not the magic
bullet I was looking for to avoid that slap
of cold, not tolerate it.
And thatís exactly what Iíll be trying to
do. Under my avoidance strategy, for the
next few months look for me in the heat
of the day, which in Kentucky, generally
arrives at about 3 p.m. No morning rides.
And it comes with a bonus: I get to sleep
in on the weekends, enjoy leisurely
breakfasts with long cups of coffee and
the paper. Itís a tough job, but someone
has to do it.
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web posted: 5 November 2001
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