Looks cold up there; let’s stay down here.

The transition from winter to spring seems a bit blurry this year.

On yesterday’s ride I was wearing a Sugoi watch cap under my old Giro helmet; Castelli wind vest and long-sleeve Gore jersey over a long-sleeve Paddygucci base layer; winter gloves; heavy Pearl Izumi tights over Castelli bib shorts; and Darn Tough wool socks in Gore-Tex Shimano shoes.

And I still got cold. Should’ve added a Buff to keep the windpipe insulated.

Looking into the Elena Gallegos Open Space from Spain and High Desert.

Happily, I was riding a Soma Saga touring bike, which with fenders, rear rack, tool bag, Zéfal pump, lights, bell, and bottle goes about 32 pounds. So we’re talking minimal self-inflicted wind chill on the flats and ascents.

And today? The first day of “spring?” Sheeyit.

It was snowing, lightly, when I struggled out of bed consumed by desire for hot coffee. Herself was already at her computer, earning. Miss Mia Sopaipilla was making her usual morning noises, which sound like a cross between her name (“Meeeeeeee-yah!”) and a demand for attention (“Meeeee-now!”).

Somehow she manages to find the precise point in El Rancho Pendejo from which her voice will project to every corner of the house. She should be the audio engineer for Radio Free Dogpatch, is what.

Given the conditions breakfast was medium-heavy. Two cups of strong black coffee, thick slabs of whole wheat toast slathered with butter and jam, one tall mug of strong black tea, and oatmeal with fruit and nuts.

Now it’s 40° at 10 a.m. The trash and recycling bins have been emptied and retrieved and we seem to be between drizzles, so some class of healthy outdoor exercise is indicated, if only to get away from the cascade of “news” items about Paris Hilton, boneheaded banking practices, and whether Adolf Twitler will get a long-overdue perp walk.

Some garbage never gets collected.

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20 Responses to “Sprung”

  1. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Oatmeal is premium fuel for cyclists! Bob’s Red Mill I assume, and was it steel cut or thick rolled? Oatmeal almost every day here.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I like the McCann’s Irish Oatmeal m’self, Paddy old scout. We have both their three-minute and steel-cut versions. I’ll have to give Bob’s a spin. I use Bob’s Red Mill everything else, so why not?

      • JD Says:

        Ditto here on the McCann’s Irish oatmeal.
        Also a word to the wise from this now 76-year old. Add a prune or two to that breakfast and you’ll be a regular Joe. And …. “two prunes a day keeps the hemorrhoids at bay (trademark pending).”

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          O, to be sure, the daily prunes. Two apiece for the both of us. I buy them in bulk from Sprouts, great big fat boys they are. As much a part of the morning ritual as the two cups of strong black coffee.

          • SAO’ Says:

            This is the breaking news and hard analysis I signed up for!

            I’ve developed a bit of an overnight oats addiction lately. Addiction? More like a fetish. Sometimes it’s steel-cut, soaked in boiling water, left to sit on the counter. Sometimes it’s old-fashion rolled, topped off with oat milk — can you have too many oats? My oats go up to 11!

            The fun part is the next morning, adding a teaspoon of brown sugar (yeah, that d-handled shovel is a teaspoon, I’m sure of it!) and maybe cinnamon or cranberries or walnuts or a spoonful of almond butter.

            Microwaving the mason jar, though … that’s part circus, part sorcery. One minute, 45 seconds, it’s not quite cooked the whole way. But 1:50, and it volcanoes over the top. If anyone has any tips there, call me Dumbo cuz I’m all ears.

          • Shawn Says:

            Tip: Instant Oatmeal !

            No, I’m just kidding. I really didn’t know what steel cut oats were until I just pulled my head out and looked it up. I’ll have to make a quick dash through my grocery store’s bulk food aisle and pick some up.

  2. Shawn Says:

    Nice image. I love the sky. The home must be one of those lucky souls living on property next to the open space.

    After living way up north, I’ve adapted to the issue that in most instances when I get out to exercise in the Winter, that I will be cold. The balance is to make sure the cold doesn’t become an issue where I can’t zone it out, or of course where it becomes a safety issue. Because most of my rides are less than a couple of hours, I can allow myself to get pretty cold knowing that I will be able to warm back up upon my return. This approach or attitude also has educated me in what to do when I need to rewarm myself when the temp is well below freezing. I don’t think I’m any better than other people at feeling the cold, but I think that because of living in a really cold place, I’ve learned how to mentally ignore and to cope with it. However, I’m really impressed by those adventurer’s / overland travelers that can get out and camp for several days when the temps are below zero.

    With that said, I’m chilly now and am going to go make myself a hot bowl of oatmeal. Perhaps later I’ll pull out the church key and imbibe a refreshing Sammy’s Oatmeal Stout.

    Quick Business Question: Does the Ms. feel that promoting her listings is worth it?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The top shot is from a cul-de-sac off Pino Ridge in the High Desert subdivision, just south of Simms Park Road, which leads to the Elena Gallegos Open Space. Bottom is from just north of the Michael Emery Trailhead off High Desert. You can get into EG from there, too. Lots of fun trails easily ridden on a cyclocross bike. I’ve even taken touring bikes in there a time or two.

      Some top-shelf real estate in that neck of the desert, for sure. Zillow shows a few places available in the high $500,000s up to just over a mil’. Too rich for my blood.

      As regards cold, after 15 years of cyclocross I’m good to go if my ears, fingers and feet are warm. Hence the wool socks and Gore-Tex Shimano shoes. I need better gloves, though.

      And I dearly hate having a mechanical in bitter weather, so I mostly circle closely around the Compound in case I find myself needing to hoof it home.

      I’ll ask The Boss about promoting listings. What I don’t know about eBaying could fill volumes. Thick muthas, too.

      • Update: Herself doesn’t pay to have her eBay listings promoted (her sis and a friend do), but she does pay to have a store. That seems to work pretty well for her — she sells stuff right, left, and center.

      • Shawn Says:

        Yeah, the store is a good idea if you sell enough. I procrastinated about a store for a several years until I finally broke out the abacus and ran the numbers. It turns out I would have been saving about $80 a month if I would have had a store. Regarding the promoted listings part, I’m not finding that actually generates the sales for me. I see the increased viewership, but not the sales. I also have a hard time paying eBay even more money. Damn capitalists anyway.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        The eBay thing is amazing. I first took note of it in The Before-Time when Charles Pelkey was unloading old bike bits and scrounging up parts for a classic WWII Jeep he was building. Then Herself got involved and holy hell, we were off to the races.

        Part of the reason we were able to pay off the mortgage here so quickly was that every time she had a thousand smacks in her account she put it toward principal.

        Her eBaying skills also make me feel better about experimenting with cameras, microphones, audio interfaces, digital recorders, and whatnot. She’s been able to unload a ton of lightly used gear that I found superfluous, inadequate, or inexplicable.

  3. khal spencer Says:

    Was raining on and off all day up here. Around 3 p.m. the roads looked dry and I had some errands to run so I hauled out the Long Haul Trucker, which is sporting fenders and Schwalbe Marathon Greenguards for this sort of day, as seen below from a nicer afternoon. Surely as soon as I got a mile from the house, it started to pour with a headwind, followed by sleet with a headwind. Got to the pharmacy to pick up the cat’s meds and it was snowing these big, beautiful snowflakes.

    The kicker was what I thought to be a rain slicker turned out to be good for wind resistance and not much more. So after my second stop for my own meds, I headed home and stripped off all the soaking wet clothing and hosed the grime off the Trucker.

    First day of spring, eh?

    • Shawn Says:

      Surely you jest. It appears from your photo that all is not too bad. Ah. Oh. I see. Your photo was taken before the deluge and flake bombardment. But then I knew that. I just wanted to use surely in there somewhere. At least you were out on a short ride. Keep on Truckin’.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Herself and I got out for a quick run on the foothills trails, which were a tad tacky in spots. There was a wicked cold wind from the south that took a lot of the joy out of the expedition, but we didn’t get rained/snowed on.

      I’m probably gonna get wet today, as the forecast calls for everything all at once. Fenders or no, it looks like another running day.

  4. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Wanna really feel chilled? Read about the Iceman Wim Hof. Sweet Jeezus…

  5. SAO’ Says:

    Drinking whiskey and getting a little dark right now. Alzheimer’s got my dad last month, and I’m next. And I don’t know if this proves or refutes that last claim: While on the one hand I can’t remember my blood type, on the other, something in the last 12 hours has reminded me of a 2010 LA Times piece on the ultimate mac-n-cheese, a 2010 Radiolab episode about talking prairie dogs, and a 2005ish Kevin Kling NPR skit about hockey hair. I guess this is what the next twenty are going to be like …

    • Shawn - currently also drifting in the Dark and Dreary Says:

      I hope the whiskey was fine and perhaps allowing things to have lightened up. I’m saddened to hear about your Dad. Alzheimer’s is a very cruel disease not only because it changes the person and takes away their memory of safety, comfort and love, but it also changes those around the person.

      Regarding your thoughts, I think sometimes the ultimate mac & cheese is the batch that you make when you need it. After a long day peddling over some alpine pass route in the cold rain with moments of snow flurries, that which comes in a box can be pretty tasty when your holed up in a tent hastily pitched under the eaves of some forest service out building. Afterward, when your stomach lining is pleasantly coated with powdered cheese, you can imagine the recitation of The Raven by a prairie dog and wonder about whatever happened to Wa, Wa, Wanda.

      Cheers to pleasant “fueled” thoughts.

      • SAO" Says:

        What’s weird is, I remembered enough to know what keyword to enter to find exactly the link I was looking for. Best MacNCheese? From the Rackhouse, which closed up half a dozen years ago, but somehow the link is still up and NOT behind a paywall. And I remembered that the prairie dog story was on RadioLab and not Freakonomics or some other similar NPR show.

        1) Oct 2010 Rackhouse MacNCheese

        2) Oct 2010 Radiolab

        3) March 2006 Kevin Kling

        Not today, Satan!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Alzheimer’s. I don’t know if I can think of anything worse. Maybe some lung disease that leaves you drowning in your own fluids, because I had the asthma-allergies double-whammy choking me out all the time as a skinny kid in San Antone.

      But mostly my boogeyman is Alzheimer’s or anything like it. Forget your garage-door code or where you left your glasses and you think, ‘OK, here we go. …”

      It got my mom, as you know. And Tim Johnson, my first editor as a freelancer for VeloNews. One of my brothers-in-law has something like it, frontotemporal dementia. Most diseases are content with stealing your life but these sons of bitches steal you, leaving bits and pieces behind, like a photo album gnawed by rats, to torment your friends and family.

      It’s one of the reasons I don’t drink whiskey anymore. I don’t want to decide to get out of my mind, even just a little bit, for a little while. I might not make it back.

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