Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Riding on December 26th?

I travel a short daily commute to work by bicycle. I ride year-round as long as the streets aren't too slick (a lesson I have to learn the hard way every few years). However, my recreational rides grind to a halt during the winter months. While I'm fine riding to work bundled up in street clothes, I don't have much winter cycling gear for longer recreational rides - boots or shoe covers, warm base layers, wind-resistant gloves, etc.

This year, however, afforded an unusual opportunity to get on my bicycle over the Christmas break. Temperatures on Christmas day in southern Missouri broke well into the mid-60s. But wet weather and a busy schedule kept me from even considering the notion of a bike ride. Things dried out a bit the next day, though. And while it wasn't quite as warm on the 26th, the weather wasn't bad. So I decided to squeeze in a quick ride around town. When I left the house at around 3:00pm, temperatures were just beginning to drop out of the 50s and the sun was warm and bright. I hit the road carrying nothing but my wallet and phone, and wore nothing more insulating than a short sleeved jersey and cycling shorts.

I rode from the central core of Springfield south down Fremont, then made my way over to the South Creek Greenway. I took the greenway through Nathanael Greene park and then hopped off on the connector to get over to the Wilson Creek Greenway trailhead. But instead of heading southwest on the Wilson Creek Greenway, I got a little turned around and ended up going north on the new Rutledge Wilson Greenway. Dodging cow patties as I made my way through the farm was a bit hairy, but other than the bruising my ego a bit that I had gotten lost, it was a perfectly fine accident. I realized my mistake pretty quickly and just decided to go with it. In all, I ended up riding around 25 miles.

It was cooling off enough on the home stretch of my return trip that my hands started to stiffen up but I was otherwise pretty comfortable. Especially for a 2 hour ride in shorts the day after Christmas.

It's also worth noting that the pictures featured on this post were taken using my new Google Pixel. The camera on the phone is fantastic, especially compared to the old Samsung Galaxy S3 that had been my faithful companion for the past 4+ years. The Pixel shoots with great, vivid color balance and nice sharp detail...I just wish the photographer had more talent. Pretty excited about the upgrade, though.

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