Louisville Bicycle Club
Table of Contents
From the President
OKHT 2001
Bike Handling Class
Refugee Mission
Mammoth Cave Overnight
LBC Awards Banquet
November-December 2001 Newsletter

From the President
Betwixt and Between

by Earl Jones


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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