I took some chances yesterday riding to and from work. Taking chances is fun.

First, it was 30 degrees and very frosty out. I had not yet really tested any of my winter riding gear to their fullest potential. In previous winters, I had only been able to ride for 45 minutes tops before my toes were making it unbearable to pedal any further. On a good day this trip would take 1.5 hours.

Second, I took a chance and rode the Fuji road bike with skinny, slick, fast tires instead of a mountain bike with nice, comfy, sure-footed tires. There was such a coating of frost from Cedar Springs to Rockford that it was actually flinging up off the top of my front tire. After one mile of that, I was debating if this was indeed the right choice. At times, with all the courage I could muster up, all I could manage was 9 mph.

Third, I got a new bike light for Christmas, but had never tested it. You'd think with 120 lumens a man would be fine navigating on his bike, but with a rechargeable battery that had not been fully charged since Christmas, I wasn't sure what I was going to get.

Number four chance was the fact that I haven't ridden more than 12 miles since Thanksgiving day. Here I was going to rip off 48. There has to be a start to the season some time, so why not now. It was forecasted to be 45 degrees by the time work would end, so I was going to torture myself early for the reward later.

For the last 5 miles I decided to make my way around the dreaded MF Hill and take a different route. Flying down Fuller Ave in pure darkness with nothing but car lights and my bike light I saw it. It was last mili-second. Yup, that's right...I call it the "Season Ender". A giant pothole perfect to suck in my front wheel and send me flying over the bars and landing face first in the pavement, breaking who-knows-what. I don't know how I managed, but the S.E. was 2 feet in front of my tire (I never looked directly at it, it just sort of entered my field of vision) and I pulled up every so slightly on the bars enabling me to hit the back side of it and keep on rolling. From that point on, I had a death-grip on the bars and decided I should concentrate a bit harder. How I didn't get at least one pinch flat out of all of that, I'm not sure. The bike gods were watching out for me that day. I owe them one.

Funny part to my day: I made a painful discovery when I got to work. In my duffle bag I quickly realized that I didn't pack a pair of boxers so I had to wear my extra pair of riding shorts under my kakis. I can't go commando, not at work. And since spandex makes you faster (the scientists say), so I was ultra-productive (and comfortable).

All the rest of the riding turned out good - little tired about half way home. Should have eaten a snack before leaving work.

So, I guess it's time to put away the road bike (likely) until spring.

Garmin won't let me display two separate events (maps) apparently, so screen shots are what you get again. Grrrr!!!

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