Canada has been churning out freezing cold weather into the entire northeastern USofA day after day for the past few weeks. Thanks a lot Canada. Looking at the weather map is just plain discouraging, as this crazy huge counter-clockwise storm swirls round and around pushing arctic air right smack here across New England… and even colder weather here in western New York. I’ve been told that the storm is abiding, which will offer a nice repreive from the riding in the snow. Yeah, snow. It’s not even November yet, and I feel like I’m riding around northern Alaska in early February! It’s all fine and good when we’re racing in the snow because your mind is elsewhere, but when you have to put on warm clothes for the 20 minutes prior to going out on a ride, it’s just punishing to your morale. This picture here is made possible by Keith Jennings at the race last weekend in northern Vermont. Making the most of the conditions, Keith and his cronies built some very original obstacles on course half-way through the race. They include plowing over entire colonies of mini snowmen and enormous snow “drifts” as seen here, with my backside front and center.
This past weekend, Mayo and I returned to Mayo’s hometown to wish her mother a happy birthday. Canada decided to crank it up a bit and whip up even more insidious weather, since it (Canada) knew I would be in the cold southern Vermont mountains. I heard the weather would be terrible, so I decided to bring the cross bike, thereby eliminated the chance of me riding the road bike and being blown clear into the middle of traffic. I is smart. As I crested Andover Mountain spinning about 13rpms into a headwind, I decided that I am badass. The wind was gusting up to 60mph, it was about 30 degrees, and the snow I think pierced my face in a half dozen places. All I could do was laugh (…and shake vigorously to keep from freezing to death). For those of you who are interested – and I know that’s all of you – the approximate wind chill under those conditions is 10 degrees. TEN. After descending the mountain, Mayo took this picture, which I’m sending to KISS for a tongue try out. I mean look at that thing! It’s awesome.
A PARAGRAPH OF NUMBERS
See that car over my shoulder? That’s Mayo’s family’s 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid. Ever since the advent of instant miles per gallon readouts in cars, I’ve had a moral obligation to slow down. It started with my Jeep Grand Cherokee, which was a very testosterone-rich full-time 4wheel drive beast. That car was so sweet, but I felt like a criminal when I’d look up at the readout, and I would see that I’m averaging a hardy 14mpg. This was back in the day when gas was in the $1-and-change, but still it was enough to make me slow down. My 2003 Passat averages double what the Jeep got, which is pretty sweet, but I still let off the gas when I see my fuel efficiency dropping. This Civic is changing all that. That car is advertised at 49mpg, so when you combine city and highway driving, you can assume that you’ll get 42-45ish. Sweet! Late last night when I was driving this bad-boy back to New York from Vermont, I was pushing into a monster of a headwind (again, gusts reported up to 60mph), doing about 72mph, and still averaged 40mpg! When you grind up hills, the instant mpg readout doesn’t drop below 28! I feel like I’m saving the environment and practically planting a tree every mile with those kind of numbers! Plus when you see that you’re putting out those sort of go-hug-a-tree numbers, you just know that the Ford Excursion/small house next to you in doing single digit MPGs. Sucker. Literally.
Okay friends, Halloween is a day away. After some serious debate about what to carve, I created two jackolanterns that will blow your sox off. You should put your children to bed right now, because they will be scared for life if they see either of these. They are truly terrifying.
Are you ready?
Hidden your children yet?