Yup, there's always a possibility that it'll be a little chilly in Michigan in March. My brother and I have a fair amount of stuff going on in our lives so the times we get together are often few and far between. We (and admittedly mostly me) try to pack in an abnormal amount of activities in way too short a time span. Case in point: St. Patties Day weekend.
My brother and Brooke (his amazing girl friend who puts up with him and his brother on said weekends) were set to arrive late Friday night. As usual, there were a few things going on leading up to that weekend. They had committments until 5-6pm and were hustling over to try and get here by 9-10pm. They arrived with no fanfare to be welcomed by Christa and I (who have lately found it difficult to stay up much past 10pm) and a few cold "Blues" to share before bedtime.
Me, "We need to get to bed kid. Big day tomorrow. Bike ride and Port Huron St. Patties Day pub crawl. Temps and weather are looking ok".
David, "OK Scotty. What's the weather look like again tomorrow."
Me, "Little chilly, nothing we haven't seen before"
Fast forward to the morning. There's some snow on the ground. Not a lot, maybe a couple of inches. The wind's blowing a little, but not too bad. And the sun......well, there wasn't any sun, but it was like 34 degrees......at least it wasn't freezing!
We had a little breakfast. I love to cook breakfast on the weekends. A combombulated version of egg nog pancakes and ham, egg, and cheese sandwiches. Perfect. My two daughters (Carys and Harper 3.5 and 1.5 yrs respectively) love pancakes. I think Brooke has a secret addiction as well;)
I try not to open the shades before we're ready to leave. My brother has a habit of draggin his feet when it's not 70F and sunny (sorry Hoon), so I hope that he hasn't been hardwired to the Droid with weather updates throughout the night. Alas, I throw back the shades and yup, it's ugly out there. I think for just a minute, I may have even flinched a bit for this one.
Me, "ready for this"
David, "yup, waitin on you." This said from the couch, still in his leisure suit.
So we suited up and threw our legs over the mountain bikes for what was to be an interesting ride indeed. We kissed the girls goodbye (all of them....Christa, Carys, Harper an Brooke) and headed out the door.
We cruised out of the garage and thankfully did not head smack into a headwind. This allowed us to "warm up a bit". Unfortunately, we were wet 5 minutes after we embarked. I mentioned it was 34 right? OK, well then:
David, "Scotty, I feel like this is the stupidest ride we've done to date. Is it?"
We're getting older and I thnk our memories aren't what they used to be.
Me' " Nah, I don't think so. Well, maybe ride, but we've run in worse conditions. Remember Escanaba, Three years ago or so. 25mph headwind. 25F and you talked me into that run?"
David, "Yeah, except the part about me talking you into it. I don't seem to recall the facts the same way, but yes I remember the run."
As I said, memories.
Anyway, the slush is flying, we're talking like we always do on the bikes, and life is good. We have about 3 hours until we depart for the pub Crawl.......which was the original reason for gettin together this weekend......Our plan was to meander down the back roads, hit a few neighborhood trails through the subdivisions and keep the pace light. Thankfully, there was only a few inches of snow on the ground as we pedalled our way out of the subdivision.
As we continued to head south, David begins to ask when we'll be tunring around. I say we're good, haven't gotten started yet, really. Neither of us carried a phone due to the conditions, so the exact time wasn't well known. Time seems to pass easily however when conversation is flowing, and I may have misjudged the turn around point a bit. Little did I know we had been on the road for an hour already and had no intentions of turning around just yet.
We made the turn nonchalantly a few miles later and began to criss cross and retrace our steps toward home........and there was a headwind......and we were wet......and we had a pub crawl to be on time for....and Christa had planned for some company to meet at our house ahead of time. I was oblivious to all of this and defer to the fact that I have no real understanding of Einstein's theory of relativity (whatever that means;)
We cruised from back road to school yard, through subdivisions and back yards as if we were still in grade shcool kicking around the neighborhoods on BMX bikes. We complained of work and both felt better about it afterward. All in all, it was like a day at the beach (except it was 34 and slushy with a 14mph North wind).
As we pulled back into the neighborhood:
David, "Scotty, we have to get a picture, we look like hell and we need to get this ridiculous event on film for surre."
Me, "sounds good kid, I'll grab the camera when we hit the garage. We have to go quick, I can't really feel anything below my knees at the moment."
I also hadn't realized we'd been riding for over 2 hours
We hit the garage and Christa must've heard the door open. She had a look that seemed to combine, "Really, you know we have people coming in 20 minutes - and in only her way - just hurry and don't be late!" Amazing what you can read in a look;)
She's the best girl on the planet by the way. No one, but no one understands me better and I'm the luckiest man in the world to have her support. I'm addicted to her and the girls and teh bike. Sometimes the time isn't always there for all three and she gives me the strength, backing, and balance I need when I know I'm short changing my duties.
Needless to say, no pictoral documentation of the ride. I will say that it took a full 2.5 hours to dig the salt and grime from the drive train. We were riding singlespeeds by the half way point as neither bike would shift at all. I kicked the rear deraillure a few times and as the ice chunks ground through the drivetrain, just decided to let it ride.
We made it just in time for the pub crawl gang. They showed as we were tidying up the mess in the garage (showers came first obviously). The guys were impressed at our tenacity, the girls rolled their eyes, and all in all I was glad for the time spent on the bike with my brother.
And it was only 1:30pm.........time for the St. Patties day pub crawl.......But that is another story!