in Cycling

From Summer to Winter

I was in Sunriver last weekend, and regardless of the weather, had a big ride to do, and a big run.

When I left Saturday morning for my 80 mile ride around Mount Bachelor, it was 37 degrees, and large dark clouds hung in the horizon.

I didn’t even bring a coat.

Maybe it’s crazy, but I was quite comfortable with my wool layers and a wind vest. It sprinkled on me from time to time, but overall it was fairly dry, with the sun to warm my back between spurts of rain. It was also quiet; I saw a handful of cars, a few very cold-looking bike tourists, and a bunch of rollarblade-ski people. The temps had dropped by about 20 degrees in a single day, so I imagine most people were just trying to stay warm at home. Good for me! Had the roads to myself.

I passed by Elk Lake, Devil’s Lake, and Sparks Lake for the first time; so beautiful. Devil’s Lake was a bright turquoise that I could not capture on my iphone.

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Once I passed Sparks Lake, I began the steepest part of the day’s 60 mile climb that ended at Dutchman Snowpark. Shortly after I began climbing, snow began to fall and stick to my black wool sleeves. Did I mention I was on my triathlon bike? I was on my triathlon bike. Did I mention I didn’t have a coat?

I figured it was above freezing so there was little chance of anything sticking to the roads, so I carried on. It was on the decent when it became very apparent I lacked enough cold weather gear; I got on my aero bars and was very quickly flying downhill at 30-35mph, in the snow and rain, with side gusts blowing me all over the road. My hands went numb, although the aero bars were a relief from having to try to hang on to handlebars with numb hands.

I was really only cold for about 20 minutes before I dropped enough elevation for the temps to rise and the sun to come out. All in all, a lovely and peaceful ride.

On Sunday, I ran the Deschutes River Trail–and it was a whopping 27 degrees when I started. Again, I just wore a long sleeve wool shirt and a wind vest. I had to hold my mittens because my hands got too sweaty almost instantly. And once again, the trail was completely empty. I saw 1 other human for the hour and a half I was out there.

I never got cold, even when I was walking. I guess it’s between seasons (summer and ski season), but I was still surprised at the utter lack of people out on the trails. Have I mentioned I love fall? I love fall. ?

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