Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Riding in the Great White North

I'm up at my parent's, just outside Vancouver for Christmas and New Years. The way that the holidays lined up this year it seemed like stupidity to not take advantage. By taking only 6 days off work, I could get 16 away from the office, so I'm up here for what is probably my longest visit since moving down south.

A part of the decision to head up here for two weeks, was an agreement with myself that I'd bring my bike up here with me and continue to pound out the miles. At first I was thinking that maybe I'd just buy a bike up here, one that could remain up here for whenever I visit. By the time I looked into what it would cost to get a bike that was anywhere descent put together I realized that I'd be better off to just bring my bike up here with me. Wells, one of the guys in my club suggested that I check out Allegiant Air because they charge very little to ship over sized items. $50 each way! Can't beat that when most airlines are charging $30 just for a normal suitcase. Especially when Allegiant only charges around $100 return for airfare direct from San Diego to Bellingham, WA. Closer to my parents than Vancouver at a fraction of the cost of United, Air Canada or US Airways.

I was also lucky that a few guys on my team were willing to lend me their travel cases, so the transport side of things has worked out really well. I borrowed a Serfas case, threw my bike and my clothing inside and it got here in perfect condition.

The final piece of the setup was a few items from Mission's own Wenting's Cycle. I want to give a big thanks to Bruce Wenting who gave me a discount on a set of rollers, bottles, and a pump. He also passed along some good ideas for routes in and around good old Mission. The first bike that I ever bought with my own money, I bought from Bruce about 20 years ago. It's great to see that his shop is still going strong.

So, on to the riding right? I flew up on Sunday night, so I got my Sunday ride done in San Diego. Monday is my usual day off. So, Tuesday was my first chance to venture out into the cold. Fortunately for me, I only had 30 minutes of tempo riding to get done, so I kept it in the garage and rode the rollers. The garage isn't heated, so it was something like 5C when I started. Luckily it's a single car garage, so my body heat and breathing got it warmed up pretty quick.

Today's ride was a bit of a different story. I had a couple hours of endurance riding to get in. It was 1C (that's 34 degree Fahrenheit for those scoring in the world's last bastion of non-metric measurement) when I got started. Supposedly it cracked 2C by the time I got home. The first hour and fifteen minutes were spent riding into the wind, so things were damned cold. For folks like me who are spoiled by San Diego's near permanent 70F coastal temperatures, that's pretty tough to handle, especially when you're passing frozen puddles and ponds as you ride. I did manage to get the full two hours in though.

It won't be until Christmas Day that I get back out into the outdoors again. Hopefully it will have warmed up to at least 5C by then!

No comments: