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Evergreening – The Friday Morning Epic

Friday, December 5th, 2014

This time of year, if you want to get a longer ride in before work, you’re leaving in the dark, so we charged up our lights, plotted and planned with GPS and a map, and rolled out while the rest of the world was still listening to the gurgle and pop of their coffee-makers.

We are riding trails all the time right now, Evergreening our commutes, slithering and snaking through every suburban patch of woods we can find, and it’s so much fun, that we find ourselves wanting to do more. So it was with eyes bigger than stomachs perhaps that we planned a 23 mile off-road gambol that we had little hope of completing and still getting to our desks/workbenches by work o’clock.

Optimism is priceless in the first week of December.

Cold weather riding (it was 25F at 6am) demands a little sacrifice. To get your temperature right over the length of the ride, you have to know you’re going to be a little cold at the start. In the dark, this is an even bigger challenge to surmount, but today we all held fast.

Through the woods behind the middle school, around the Reservoir, through the Great Meadow, then Vine Brook and Willard’s Woods, out to the Paint Mines and up the power line cut to the Landlocked Forest, the narrow boardwalks all glinting with frost, slick as fresh pond ice, leaves frozen in clusters with mud and sticks, the banked turns crunching under our tires.

It was just that kind of morning. We were too far from home (work), but having too much fun to turn back early. That led to an exhausting hammerfest once we’re back on paved road, each of taking our turn on the front, until we were here at Seven, hot coffee steaming, smiles all around.