Four the fourth consecutive year, I find myself cycling south when cooler weather arrives. The “pattern” is a bit loose but follows:
September 18, 2008: Lael and I rode from Boston to Montreal, then south to Key West, FL for two months of work and sun. Weather was cool with many freezing nights, but we were well equipped and never had consecutive days of rain. Daytime riding temps were ideal.
October 2009: Alex D. and I rode from Tacoma to San Francisco. This trip was three weeks of cool, clear weather; importantly, we discovered both Usal Road and Matt Blake on the day of his 18th month and 20,000 mi anniversary since leaving home in England.
November 5, 2010: Lael and I rode from Tacoma to Baja, then sailed to Guymas and continued riding in the Sierra Madre to the Copper Canyon. Nov. 5th is probably too late to be leaving Tacoma. The real hazard was to our hands and feet, which were perpetually wet and cold. Southern CA greeted us with record rainfalls over Christmas week. Upon entering Mexico, we didn’t see a drop of rain for almost three months.
Sunday, August 21, 2011: I leave Canmore, in lieu of Banff, as the Goat Creek Trail is temporarily closed. Geared up for cool fall riding, I look forward to the riding, the solitude ( if it exists), and the seasons. My first extended visit to the Rocky Mountain west; there can’t be a better way to take in a handful of states. Seasons are becoming a pastime. It’s like slow food, but with weather and time– of which I own a lot of shares.
I am rich in time.
I tossed a worn out pair of Adidas Sambas; I have owned six pairs in the last three years, at a rate of six months apiece. Relatively cheap, durable, and very livable; they have been reliable. I am dipping into a pair of midheight Gore-Tex lined boot-shoes, as a little insurance against the cold and the rain. With hesitation, I proceed.
I have spent restful days touring the parks with my mother. And now, with a belly full of anticipation, Unibroue La Maudite and cassoulet; I ride.