in defense of Winter

As the idea of a continental adventure becomes realized on maps and routes and plane tickets and gear decisions, the first winter storm stalls current riding plans. Highs are coming in right around the freezing mark and slicks of ice gleam on rocks and roadsides. A “good ride” today is one from point A to point B, no detours needed on potentially frozen terrain. As usual I don’t see any other cyclists out there, but the bleak skies and sting of frost can make the road a very lonely place. Three months of winter stagnation left. It’s enough to discourage the most adventurous of us; to be content inside scheming for the summer ahead…

But there’s something about the silence and stillness of winter that reminds us why we like being alone in the wilderness. Wasn’t it the danger, the unpredictability of nature that brought us out here in the first place? Some people are content riding the same 35 mile training loop, or mt biking on the 10 person-group ride, or running on the rail trail. These are the people who winter forces inside on trainers and treadmills and yoga mats. And that’s fine by us. We head out into the icy landscape with only our own tracks behind us. Isolation becomes solace. We keep moving, and frozen breath becomes hot from exertion. Hours pass and the weak sun is already sinking by late afternoon. We push on and as our water bottles begin to freeze remember that to get lost out here could be the end of our adventures.

But Ruralhipster isn’t one to stop moving. For too long.



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