The Cold

The cold is something to be endured. There is no way around it. You can dress in warmer layers, throw on a pair of tights and still there is nothing left to do but endure. The right clothes make it tolerable, but never fun. Maybe its because I don’t currently own a trainer. Maybe its the fact that a co-worker suggested I “harden the fuck up” . Whatever puts me out in the once a year cold snap we experience here in Portland doesn’t matter.

Eddy "hardening the fuck up" back in the day. taken from <a>Big Ring Riding </a>

Yesterday’s three hours had me wondering what it must have been like before the advent of wicking fabrics, bib tights and functional jackets.The advent of high-tech performance fabrics allows us to go out and feel the cold wind brush our skin when perhaps we should be inside wearing just a pair of shorts as we pedal to nowhere on a set of rollers. For every minute I thought about how cold I was, I spent five thinking about how thirty degrees used to be a warm day. Nothing could stop me the first year I started commuting to school and work by bike full time. 20 degrees? No problem! 10 degrees out? Whatever! One day I rode in the nine miles in high winds, producing temps as low as negative 5. My friend told me my face was going to fall off. Still, I felt like nothing could stop me. Two years later a day would come when I would leave my job running packages early because I’d lost a glove and couldn’t stand to loose any more skin from my left hand. I gave up because my hand kept freezing to my unwrapped bars.

Now, as it did then, knowing others are out there suffering with you.Yesterday there were three of us, though I knew others who were out as well. Knowing that they were as cold as I was yet kept pushing made me shut up, put my head down and endure. Seeing another team, kitted out and keeping disciplined pace line, has a fire stoking effect as well. They’re training hard, so I need to be training harder.

The cold was endured, and though my muscles are wasted and my knees are sore from grinding too big a gear without being warm, I know that I’m stronger because we endured.

More comfort than performance.




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