“Let’s ride Saturday!” Kristin wrote. “Okay!” I replied.
It’s a very rare that I would ever deny Kristin, and then the next day she posted to my wall that the temperature at 8 a.m. would be a balmy -20 degrees below zero. “Only for you!” was what I commented.
I’ll admit, Saturday morning came and I got myself out of bed, more on the slow side. I’m not really a so-called morning person. I was up soon enough to have a small portion of coffee, making the rest so it would be hot and waiting for me as I drug my frozen body back into the house. I would meet at Kristin's home as we would ride to River Trail and then explore the other trails that we typically ride on our standard route.
My goggles froze almost instantly. There was no way I could see through the sheet of ice obscuring my view of the trail ahead. Fantastic. I will admit with some surprise that it really wasn’t that bad; overall most of my face was covered with a balaclava and a buff. I was plenty warm, and I figured that the heat from my breathing would keep my eyes from freezing up. Towards the end of River Trail I was in awe over the breathtaking beauty of the frost-covered trees. Everything was wrapped in white crystals, the sun making it sparkle like diamonds. I felt like I had entered into Narnia or somewhere equally as magical. I guess this is Iowa, but it looked like a picture out of a fairy tale!
It’s amazing how one can warm up and be comfortable in -18 or so temperatures. You wouldn’t think so, but it is very possible. I will admit my only downfall was that my feet got cold. When we were nearing the end of our ride I took some time on Rocky Road to kick my feet against each other, making blood flow to my toes. Aaaaah, relief! I was fine.
The end of our ride took us down Rocky Road and up the Luge, and back to River Trail. We stopped at the bike shop to warm up and also let Travis see my amazing lashcicles. I will admit, I can’t recall having lashcicles that massive before. Kristin and I eventually parted our ways, both of us needing to get ready for work. Once home I poured myself a cup of hot coffee and sipped it happily; a sandwich followed and my day officially started.
Emotionally and mentally I was fulfilled and I could say I fully embraced the challenge of our cold winter day!
Photo Credit: Kristin Torresdal