I had a coach once bark out, “Practice does not make perfect!” He reasoned that you could be practicing incorrectly and therefore you’re honing technique incorrectly. Thus, he touted, perfect practice makes perfect. But that was among a bunch of 14 years olds playing hockey; this is real life.
I moved to California precisely one year ago smack in the middle of January. I got in on a Friday evening and joined the rolling entourage heading south on The Coast Ride the very next day. It was wet, it was windy, and it was what would normally be considered not very fun. Except that I had recently hung up my race duds and so riding in the rain/wind/cold was all of a sudden a voluntary activity rather than a requisite one barked at me by a coach. I could have hopped in a car at any time, said forget this foolishness, and perused Instagram. I alluded to all of this in my last post and have ridden in plenty of rainy days ever since that damp January of 2016.
We wouldn’t be cyclists if we didn’t find something to complain about, usually revolving around the weather. So while by last year’s standards, the 2017 edition could be considered bone dry, this year was also arctic freezing. This whole getting accustomed to different temperatures thing, which I hear a lot as a New Englander now living in sunny California, is an interesting topic. Sure sure, I swing an ax, wear plaid, and pretend that I’m a tough New Englander by not wearing toe covers. Ever. However, I somehow zapped the nerves in my fingers and toes having spent an entire childhood in freezing hockey arenas and on ski mountains capped in blue ice across the sky scraping northern Appalachians. Therefore, regardless what’s on my hands or feet, my fingers and toes are cold (all the more so when I don’t wear toe covers, but they’re a hideous invention and the difference between looking silly and being cold versus looking tough and being cold, is enormous and worth the sacrifice. Make shoe covers your friend, friends). The earth shattering point of this paragraph is that the difference between 20 degrees, 30 degrees, and 40 degrees is only a few very thin millimeters of clothing rather than some gargantuan difference many people false think. If it’s a brisk 40 degrees, you’re going to be wearing some sort of cap, long-sleeve top, gloves, and long-legged bibs. Right? Right. Meanwhile, if it’s only half that temperature, a frigid 20 degrees, you’re going to be wearing some sort of thicker cap, thicker long sleeve top, thicker gloves, and thicker long-legged bibs. You might even put on those thermal shoe covers. The only difference between California where it’s 20s and 30s at night and 40s in the day, and (insert your cold weather state here) where it’s 10s and 20s at night and 30s in the day, is those few thin millimeters of clothing. In related news, if you don’t know already know them, Velocio is your (new) favorite cycling clothing company. I can’t tell you my favorite piece, because they’re all great. Currently leading the charge is the Recon Hardshell for it’s stylish take both on and off the bike. Oddly enough, as a staunch camper in the forrest of anti-toe-covers, I can’t throw enough praise behind the Zero bootie. It’s perfect.
I was going to write a lengthy summary of all the things that I’ve done now one year hence my landing in California, examine how year one was practice and now it’s the real thing. But I’ll skip all that for now and leave you with the topic of cheese. Namely, street cheese which is beyond delicious. Stay tuned.