Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Inaugural Ride

Boy do we know how to party. 

Today officially got started with a 2am alarm time to get G on a plane back to Mississippi, along with a bicycle as part of his checked baggage (more about that in a future post).  T-Bone’s flight departed the day before, so we were pretty much cooked by sunrise this morning.

After much snoozing and lounging well past noon, it was time to take some new cycling togs out for a spin in the cold weather.  Winter riding gloves and a gore-tex shell--gifts from family members who play along with my obsession for riding--were finally put into use today.
New Years Day Afternoon In Salem

It’s been a long wait for a little dry weather in the Willamette Valley.  I’m not sure how many days of rain we’ve had in the past few months, but I do have a neighbor who’s growing a long beard, talking incessantly about animals, and building a ginormous wooden boat. Hmmm.
All to myself!
Anyway, the story on today’s afternoon ride: a brisk 35 degrees, dry, and very little traffic. Downtown Salem was completely empty on a Saturday afternoon!  Apparently folks were all still chillin’ at home after their New Year’s Eve festivities.

I think the sign was there for a reason.
I seized the moment and rode up to the roof level of the Pringle Parking structure to snap a few pictures. It’s fun riding in a parking structure that is completely car-free.  When does that ever happen? It has that slick surface that makes your car tires squeal on the corners, but I decided not to play “daredevil” on my skinny, no-tread road bike tires on the way down, opting instead for a conservative angle just in case.

The cold-weather riding gear did the just above the freezing level I felt completely comfortable, like I could have ridden for several hours. At the end of the ride, I could still feel my fingers, toes, and earlobes....something I’d not been able to do very well on previous cold weather outings.  The clothes made the difference.
On the ride home, I kept thinking about the folks without shelter, who don’t have warm clothing right now. The chilly weather will be with us for a few more days, and there’s much more winter ahead. Tonight, I’m going to pull out a few coats and such that I’ve not worn in over a year, and see to it that somebody else stays warm in them. Our familiy just went through the snow clothes box for a recent trip to the mountain and discovered that the kids have outgrown most of the stuff we’ve been keeping. Those items are going, too.  The Salem Union Gospel Mission  and the Salvation Army  do an excellent job of helping folks in need. 

Hopefully, these clothes will make a difference, too.

Willamette River View

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, we were riding right about the same time in the downtown area on New Years Day. Weird seeing Salem so empty isn't it?

On staying warm, I have been able to do that with one exception: My feet have been freezing every time, so I just got some neoprene shoe covers and am going to give those a try. I have been using rain covers, but they just don't cut it as far as keeping warm.

Glad you had a great start to the new year!