It appears that this is the year of the Indian summer that just keeps going. They say that next week will bring snow, but I remain unconvinced. Highs have been around +5 and are projected to stay there all week. So much so that we actually took the bikes out this weekend.
First order of business was to get Tony’s bike out of his living room (yes), so that took up Saturday till latish afternoon. We brought it back from the city with my truck. The only tricky part was getting it down the steps; my planks weren’t quite long enough and the bike got a bit high-centred on the fairing, but no damage was done. Then once we had it back to my place (where it will be sleeping for winter), it was time to get things ready and ride a bit. Didn’t get a whole lot in but enough to figure out what sort of clothing would keep us a little warmer!
Today we set out a bit after 2 in the afternoon, by which time it was +5 or so. Wool socks, poly longjohns and cycling tights and jeans, a wool cycling jersey and a wool army sweater and a fleece sweater under my jacket. And a very thin fleece balaclava that did a remarkable job of keeping the neck warm. I felt a tad not terribly bendable, but indoors was near to a risk of overheating so I figured it ought to work on the road and so it did. A little cold on the chest, but then my jacket is emphatically a summer jacket, designed to let air through, which it does exceptionally well – you notice that when it’s near freezing.
First stop was Tony’s parents’ place, where his dad admired his bike (which he hadn’t seen yet) and commented that the bit of oilspray on the tire from the chain should “make for better brakestands” – much to his mom’s alarm and our amusement. Then we had it figured that we’d to go Altona to find a restaurant, since having skipped lunch things were feeling pretty hollow. But hollow was also a word that could describe that town. It felt like a wasteland. There was hardly a soul around. Out of three restaurants that were actually open, two had no cars in front of them at all, and the other had three, but that was a Chicken Chef and thus didn’t bear consideration. Back to Winkler it was. After supper we just had to get a few more miles in so we headed down the road to the Tim’s in Morden. By then it was dark and getting awfully cold.
I can see now where the heated vest, heated grips, and windproof riding suit would extend the season a great deal. Even with windproof gear and heated grips I would have been good to go for nearly any distance.
But still, 122 km on November 15th. Ridiculous. I love it.