Wednesday, December 16, 2015

If We Make It Through December

If we make it through December
Everything's gonna be all right I know
It's the coldest time of winter
And I shiver when I see the falling snow
                                    -Merle Haggard, 1973

Merle obviously wasn’t in Cincinnati this past weekend. December 12th and the mercury hit a record high of 72 degrees. Overweight, out-of-shape, and even I, the Reluctant Cyclist, couldn’t say no to a 50 miler. Three other friends longing for the open road on two wheels joined Velo Junkie and I for an unseasonably sweet December day.

I was excited to give the new Mavics a spin and right out of the gate we got to enjoy a series of downhill switchbacks. As nice as that was I couldn’t help fretting over the return trip. Hopefully the new wheels would smooth out the hills to make it a wee bit easier to cart my birthday cake laden, holiday food overloaded, Christmas Ale soaked girth back up the switchbacks to the sunny yellow Subaru waiting at the top.

Now here’s something you don’t see on every bike ride – a parade. Surprise!! Less than five miles into the ride we crest a hill happen upon the Christmas Parade lining up in Miamisburg, OH. Frosty the Snowman had to stay home and poor Santa was sweating in a Hawaiian shirt but the horses and politicians were out in full glory. By this time we were warming up and starting to shed layers (like an onion). Wow! December and we are in shorts and short sleeves.
1967 Beetle

I had quite a scare on the way out. We were nearing fifteen miles or so and I heard the dreaded “PING”. Damn. A broken spoke. I feared it was my new wheel suffering under my new-found bulk. Alas, it was not my wheel but one belonging to the rider beside me. His wheels had many more spokes than mine so he was able to limp along with (n-1) spokes. It did cause us to abandon the goal of riding all the way to the end of the trail. OH DARN! *dripping with sarcasm*

As with every event during the holiday season the goal was to find food, and food we found. If I wasn’t slow enough on the way out, I was even slower on the way back. Velo Junkie took us on a foodie adventure to Rob’s Restaurant in Brookville, OH., home cooked food and family owned since 1976.  After filling up at the buffet I had the double chocolate brownie pie. I took a ladle full of caramel sauce from the ice cream bar and drizzled it over the pie for a sugar high only a five-year old would crave.

My body was begging for a recliner to practice the art of digestion. Although I filled my plate with a small amount of protein, some potatoes, and a lot of vegetables, the pie did me in. I was struggling to keep up, which was OK because it afforded me the opportunity to get some good shots and footage of the crew ahead of me. Knowing that the uphill switchbacks meant we were close to the end gave me the strength to pedal to the top, albeit slow as molasses in January.

Check out the 90 second video to get a real feel for the December day. This pluviophile wallowed in it.

I hope you all had an opportunity to enjoy nature’s gift this past weekend. It doesn’t get any better than this.

#ifwemakeitthroughdecember #robsrestaurant #miamisburg #christmasparade #newwheels

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