APRIL is the cruelest month, breedingLilacs out of the dead land, mixingMemory and desire, stirring
|What Eliot had in mind?|
Dull roots with spring rain.
- T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land, 1922
And so it was on yesterday's (Saturday's) ride, which was supposed to have been a nice, easy spin north to Crystal Lake and back. It started with relative optimism that I'd be able to dodge any serious precipitation, at least according to my last glance at the weather radar. No matter, I donned my old Pearl-Izumi 'typhoon' booties, mittens, and "rain-cape" as they say in Britain, just the same. Mind you, this is April in Chicagoland. *APRIL*.
|Unaware of the smackdown ahead...|
Hey, the rain now turns to sleet, and what's this?... Giant snowflakes! Hey, it's snowing sideways!!! Welcome to mid-April in the Midwest, SUCKAAA!!! Damn.
While it's a pleasant enough wonderment-at-nature sensation to feel snowflakes land on one's lips every now and again, I'd gladly opt out in April, thank-you-very-much. Did I happen to mention it is April? *Cruel* Or, say it with me in Spanish: Cruel.
|Made with *real* reindeer tears |
(because you don't recycle)
Of course, I notice that the friendly Caribou's confines are making a huge production about its observation of the upcoming Earth Day. How? By hawking travel mugs and other such containers in the interest of doing its corporate "green" bit. Unfortunately, there are STILL NO RECYCLING bins in the place for used (paper) cups, napkins, plastic lids, etc. * F A I L * I'm sure a lone caribou in Alaska pauses at that moment to shed a silent tear (and one would hope, get on with his day. Sorry, does not include mating calls and such, for that's a fall activity for these majestic creatures, in anticipation of the Santa Claus sled gig audition...) But, I digress...
The ride home was much less dramatic, for after a while, the snow and sleet regressed to drizzle, and I had a slight tailwind.
The NEXT day:
|In order of awesomeness, from L to R.|
If it doesn't fit, you must acquit...
Anyway, miserable cold and wind aside, the rollout was lead by one of our team's elite riders, whom we shall here, simply refer to as "Stainless" (because he's tough and resilient like stainless steel, no doubt). He's a Hungarian-American badass who comes to the sport of bicycle racing from the sport of ice hockey, so no caribou tears here. He thrives on inflicting sweet pain upon friend and foe alike. Ouch.
|Bjarne and Jan in happier times...|
These two are a sight to behold on two wheels. Stainless is all lean muscle and power (think ice hockey), and Bjarne is all lanky sinew. Not only is the physical vista a bit foreboding, but once they start chattering with each other, it surely places riders within earshot at a disadvantage. They are, simply, HILARIOUS.
Of course, this is something that their level of fitness allows them to pull off with great aplomb, the ability to actually talk, to happily converse with each other while the rest of the peloton they tow in their wake gasp for air and mercy. And what exactly, is so funny about the content of their idle chit-chat on a bike? I'll save it for another entry. One thing is for certain, the whole scene only adds to the cruel, cruel month that is April on a bike in Chicagoland.