As we move into winter’s snow, mud, and ice, road biking suddenly becomes more appealing to me. Most of the trails are now under snow, but there are still miles of smooth, ice-free blacktop to be ridden. Nevada’s winter days almost always warm up to the mid 30’s, keeping the roads pretty dry.
Sunday was sunny, so Kristy and I figured we better get out and enjoy the warmth before the storms arrive. We dusted off the road bikes, and headed for Combs Canyon, picking up Jeff P along the way. Once at the top of the Combs Canyon climb, we descended down into the beautiful Washoe Valley, one of my favorite places to ride my road bike.
We took a short break at Bower’s Mansion Park, and I remarked on our pace and how I didn’t remember road biking to be this fast. And Jeff P replied, “If it’s too good to be true, you have a tail wind.”.
And sure enough, Jeff P was right. The return trip was much slower with strong random gusts from the southwest. We formed an echelon formation with my butt hanging slightly out into the traffic lane. I took one for the team I guess. I fell off the formation and shot a few pictures, and it took me quite a ways to catch the other two. It was tempting not to stop, but my Blogging OCD got the best of me. I needed blogging fodder.
We got a late start, so by the time we got back into Carson, the sun was starting to set. Cold started creeping into our bodies, hastened by the damp clothing. The final blow was coming down the end of Kings Canyon. I never really warmed up after that. We stopped at Jeff P’s house, and Amy made us some coffees. This certainly helped, but Kristy and I were pretty chilled for the last two miles home. We got home just as it was getting dark.
Road biking is great this time of year, but it’s best to time your ride with sunlight. The wind chill from the higher speeds certainly does take it’s toll. There are plenty of great routes to take along the foothills that are out in the sun. Just be careful getting into the trees, since the shady spots are prone to icy patches.