New Year’s freezin’ Eve

The Cateye of the Tiger

The Cateye of the Tiger

If ever there was a night not to be a party animal, this is it: 6 degrees with a low of minus-8 in the forecast and wind-chill values around minus-20.

My idea of a rockin’ New Year’s Eve is not sharing icy roads with the lesser primates, courting frostbite, hypothermia and Death by Eejit, to drink among strangers too stupid to stay home where they belong. These pootbutts drive in snow about as well as Baptists dance on Sundays.

As usual, we got just enough snow to introduce natives of warmer climes to the limitations of four-wheel drive and the locations of our local emergency rooms, police stations and body shops.

Nevertheless, it left our neighborhood looking like a bobsled run laid out by a timid German (flat and in a grid pattern), and I went outdoors exactly thrice, to shovel the block and our driveway. It took three trips and two tea breaks because I was freezing my not-inconsiderable ass off.

I clamped my road bike to the Cateye CS-1000 Cyclosimulator last night, but I never used it. Shoveling is fine exercise, or so I told myself as I was uncorking a bottle of 2009 Penelope Sanchez.

Just Thursday I was riding dusty trails in long sleeves and leg warmers and feeling slightly overdressed. I can’t face the trainer. Not yet, please, God. There will be plenty of time for that sort of thing in the new year. I rode more than 4,000 miles outdoors this year and riding indoors will have to wait until 2011.

In the meantime, I raise my glass to you and yours in gratitude for your generosity in popping round from time to time to visit a cantankerous ink-stained wretch, and ask that as the old year closes you give some thought to those who may find little to celebrate this New Year’s Eve.

I’ll be thinking of an old friend and colleague, a brother cyclist, who spent Christmas in the emergency room with his gravely ill wife. She’s back home tonight, which is good news, but not the sort that sends the champagne corks flying. Strength and peace to you both, C and T.

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9 Responses to “New Year’s freezin’ Eve”

  1. David R Says:

    Happy New Year to you and yours Patrick, and all your faithful readers too.

    Thanks for the entertaining and enlightening reading this year; looking forward to 2011…

  2. john Says:

    Back at ya, Patrick. It’s things like “bobsled run designed by a timid German” that keep me coming back.

    Here in Northern New England we’re into XC ski season — a discipline at which I exert large negative pressure — but it’s fun Send us some of your cold — we got the storm that drove the media into a fenzy, but now it’s threatening to melt and spoil all our fun

  3. Jon Paulos Says:

    Happy New Year to yourself and Herself! Being two time zones ahead of you, I’ll beat you there. Bowling on the agenda tonight, and running again as soon as I’m over the intestinal bug that hit me a few days ago.

    Extra treats for the cats tonight! Gonna be a good year next year!

  4. barry Says:

    Yes, Patrissimo ETAL… Happiest of New Years. I sort of recycled your Hoppin John receipt from last year with bits from our household (the few blackeyed peas the garden produced, the last of a pork butt I smoked last Saturday, and some greens the better half procured from her grandmother). I’ve washed it down with booze from various containers and it looks like said other half will grant me these last 30 minutes of 2010 in solitude with said booze. There’s still some food on the plate and dessert; so I can forge along with confidence of seeing the next lap arrive and then passing out.

    Good night and good luck to you all. Here’s to a better lap and yet worse lap time this next lap.

  5. Libby Says:

    Happy New Year! I completely understand your desire to postpone riding indoors. Sounds like you got a huge workout already.
    One of your favorite performers , Tom Waits, is on cable now – “Big Time”, a 1988 film of 2 concerts, on the THIS Network (a self-styled free premium channel).
    Slainte!

  6. Boz Says:

    Happy New Year to you, Patrick, and all the denizens of the Dog Patch. I misses this year’s New Years Day ride due to black ice, lack of studs, and sub-zero temps here in Duluth. I rode in it a couple of years ago when it was -30f, but the roads were clear, with no wind. 20 miles was good enough that day!

  7. Larry T. Says:

    Ahh yes, the dreaded “trainer”. Brain-dead sweating when it’s too cold or windy, not enough snow, or raining. I alternate between this drudgery and another variety — the XC ski machine. Makes me really appreciate the rest of our Santa Barbara time as there’ll be no riding outside on a bicycle for awhile once we get back to the frozen plains of Iowa. I’ll fly up to Chicago later this month for the Park Tool Summit to freshen up my mechanical skills and play with the newest-latest from various makers of expensive bike parts. The VIP’s dinner last night went well, deserved praise all around for the efforts of the wife who did most of the cooking. Best wishes for great 2011 to all!

  8. Khal Spencer Says:

    Someone shot this pic of me last January, but conditions up in the Jemez today were almost this good. As long as there is decent snow up there, I won’t have to break out the dreaded rollers too often.
    http://labikes.blogspot.com/2010/01/support-your-local-ski-club.html

  9. Patrick O'Grady Says:

    A belated Happy New Year to all. I was “working” today — this being a holiday, that means I kept a casual eye on the in-box while doing other things, like riding the accursed trainer for an hour. Blech.

    We didn’t get enough snow to ski the neighborhood parks, as we’ve done in previous winters, and with temps in the teens there was virtually no melting so the sidewalks were icy death, a broken hip or elbow just waiting to happen.

    So Herself rode the Giant Tempo trainer in the basement while I rode the Cateye in my office. I managed an hour, which ain’t bad for the first outing. An iPod full of Led Zep’, Allman Brothers, Elvis Costello and Eric Clapton helps.

    No Tom Waits, Libby, but that may change. I need a new mix. “Whistling Past the Graveyard,” “Goin’ Out West” and “Jockey Full of Bourbon” are all lively numbers.

    The weather’s supposed to improve tomorrow, as in get above freezing, so maybe I can squeak out for a short run or let some air out of the mountain bike’s tires and take my chances on two wheels.

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