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Greener grass

James Durand

I am sitting inside Swicked looking out at the pouring rain/snow/pouring rain, trying to come up with something to write about so I don’t miss the editor’s deadline.

My mind wanders and I find myself thinking about all the things I miss about winter riding:

  • Spending 30 minutes hunting down three different layers of riding clothes, a beanie to go under my helmet and the thickest gloves I can find before even going into the garage to find my water proof shoes.

  • Scrambling around to get my lights charged at the last minute because I forgot to plug them in after the last ride. Then carrying a spare battery (stolen from Chenoa’s lights) because my lights are only half charged.

  • Riding into that innocent looking puddle only to realize it’s deeper than I thought. Then noticing how water proof my shoes are, because all the water that just flowed in through the leg hole stays in the shoe for the rest of the ride. Squish, squish, squish.

  • Realizing that my thick winter gloves weigh seven pounds each when they are waterlogged.

  • Failing to complete a technical climb because I can’t find traction on the green slimy rocks. Trying harder on the next climb and then falling over and smashing my knee cap because my feet are stuck in the mud filled pedals. Wondering how anything could hurt this bad without causing death. Trying not to cry in front of my friends.

  • Riding on one of those rare days without rain, but getting soaked from the leaves slapping me in the face, arms and legs. Then wishing I’d worn my water proof shoes.

  • Realizing that Chenoa didn’t charge her light battery either and having to ride the last trail with my iPhone flash light.

  • Getting home from a cold and wet ride wanting nothing but a warm shower, but it takes 15 minutes to get out of my muddy clothes and another 20 minutes to clean the grime off my bike. Or worse yet, I leave the bike dirty and next ride realize I need an overhaul because nothing shifts and my dropper post is seized in the lowest position.

  • Having to buy a new washing machine every spring because the sand and grit from my riding clothes killed another motor and pump.

You know it’s been a tough winter when we crave the worst riding conditions, but compared to no riding at all, the grass is looking greener over there. Lets hope next winter is a bit more “West Coast” so we can get back to riding year round and complaining about the mud.

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