Thursday, October 23, 2008

Springtime In The Rockies

“Put a jacket on! What do think this is? Springtime in the Rockies! You’re gonna catch a cold!” My mother engrained that phrase in my head during my youth. To her I would always be underdressed when there was a nip in the air, but I felt fine. Really mom, I wasn’t being a brat. I think that’s one of the reasons I love cyclocross. My engine runs a little hot and I’m a little more adept at operating when it’s chilly. Consequently I wither like a nervous bride in humidity and heat. This past week, sixty degree days slipped down from Canada and into Cincinnati. Ahhh. It feels good, except for the extra goobers that seem to find their way out of your nose when the weather turns chilly. A day ago we covered the backyard basil for our first overnight freeze warning. Leaves litter my yard. The forecast is calling for a soggy cyclocross course at the USGP in Louisville this weekend. It’ll probably be a little crusty when the first racers warm up on the course. It’s warm enough for shorts, but chilly enough for long fingered gloves and long sleeves on the bike. It’s springtime in the Rockies weather.

Maybe my helmet’s on too tight. I could be wrong to romanticize about weather that feels like springtime in the Rockies. With the recent UCI stories posted here, we may have some readers from Colorado. Post a comment. Let the world know if my mom was right and it’s too cold to go out without a jacket when it’s springtime in the Rockies. The closest I’ve come is Breckenridge in June. (photo above is Breckenridge in May) Sure springtime in Ohio is usually around mid-April, but at nearly ten thousand feet, spring doesn’t start popping for a few more weeks in Breck. At that time, snow stubbornly stuck to the tips Ten Mile range, the trail that crossed the ridgeline into the back bowls of Vail was closed to bikes and frost sparkled on the porch when I stepped out with a morning coffee. Then, the sun rose over mountains warming the air just enough to where you couldn’t see your breath, cool enough for arm warmers but toasty enough for riding in shorts. It’s perfect. My mom was totally insane. Love her. Think the world of her. But she’s totally whacked on this one. Myth: Busted.

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