I must be going through winter cycling withdrawls. December was a long month and I felt caged in by the cold weather and icy roads. My only rides were just commuting to and from work. Sometime in mid December I set out to the library seeking cycling books, not stuff about technique or races, but rather cycling experiences. I found a book called "Cold Beer and Crocodiles: A Bicycle Journey through Australia" by Roff Smith. Now the book wasn't about cold beer or crocodiles, in fact, I only vaguely remember a reference to the latter. It was hardly about cycling either. It was more of a travel log of the author's experiences as he traveled around the country, braving the intolerable heat of the Outback and the looming monsoons of the summer months. He had many unique experiences and met many many interesting characters, mostly off the bike. The author traveled 10,000 miles in about 9 months putting his old life on hold as he searched for direction in his life after his bicycle journey. I thought it was a really cool story, nothing really exciting, but very intriguing. It left me scheming my own bicycle journey. I hope Sarah and I can take one someday.
The other thing that makes me think I'm going through cycling withdrawls is that my Christmas list was full of biking gear and nothing else. And after I didn't get any of it, I went out and bought some stuff with some of the gift money I recieved. First of all, I bought new pedals for my mountain bike. I only have one worn out pair of dress (work) shoes that work well with those pedals. All of my other sneakers and hiking shoes slide right off making it difficult to mountain bike. I really wanted a set of clippless pedals for the bike but I was nervous about being clipped in on more technical stuff that I'm not very comfortable with nor did I want to wear my bike shoes to work everyday. My solution, a pedal with the clipless mechanism on one side and a standard cage on the other side for all of my other shoes. I tried them out today and loved it. Of course, I just rode around the block because the roads are sloppy as can be here. My other purchase was a thin skull cap that I can wear under my helmet comfortably but still keep me warm. I don't know if it will work for the really cold days (10 degrees and below) but it will be nice for most other days below 50 degrees.
Winter has just begun and I'm already sick of it. I can't wait until spring. Until then, I'm sure I'll be reading other cycling logs and druling over the Nashbar catalog.