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Joys of January

The arrival of February has brought a return of harsh winter weather. But boy, January could definitely be classified as a dream month — at least this year — for any cyclist living in Maine. Outdoor miles of any amount, I believe, are a bonus ... and I hit the jackpot.

I ended up pedaling 26 out of January's 31 days; all outside and absolutely no time on my indoor stationary bike. Due to ice and snow, three rides were taken on my fat bike on the Kennebec River Rail Trail, while all the rest were accomplished on my gravel/cyclocross machine ... because the roads were bare and, therefore, safe.

Back on the rail trail at the beginning of February.

So how many miles for the first month of the 2021 season? My logbook, which I've said in the past doesn't lie, says 520. Whoa! I thought my January 2020 total of 402 miles was really awesome, so this new high mark is pretty cool. You have to remember, there were often no miles at all for me in January during the last two decades, and many with less than 100 miles. Especially before obtaining my fat bike.

In reference to the 520 total, someone at the bike shop said the other day, "There's probably a lot of people who don't even have that many miles cycling indoors." So, yes, I feel fortunate to have piled up that many miles in often cold, crisp conditions ... but, joyfully, outdoors.

Dresser for success

I don't take for granted that I'm very lucky to have seven bicycles, and I'm sure there are many people who believe that it's ridiculous to own so many. You can only ride one at a time — right?

Well, another absurd realization has fostered a feeling of embarrassment once again in my life. For years, there have been countless bike accessories and bits of apparel that, if acquired, would have enhanced my cycling experience. For example, toe covers for my shoes would have been nice in chilly temperatures, but instead I'd put plastic sandwich bags over my socks. I could never justify the expense, so I did without.

Well, since starting at the bike shop — with its accompanying discounts and those through Trek — I've made up for lost time. It actually made sense for Mathieu's to hire me, because I end up giving them back all my paycheck with my purchases. Or at least it seems like that.

Anyway, my greediness for cycling clothes and other key components has led to a big problem at my house. Namely, where to put everything. My regular dresser for everyday garments was being overrun by all this biking stuff, causing spillage issues ... onto a nearby chair, on top of the dog's crate, and even the floor. Finally, the order was issued from on high that I needed to find a solution.

I certainly had no intention of getting rid of anything. Just like my array of bicycles, which enables me to ride a particular one suited to the conditions, my cycling threads also have become specialized. They all have a purpose.

So what did I do? I went out and bought a used four-drawer dresser just for my biking attire. No more items scattered all over the house and, more importantly, my dear wife is happy. But there is one more glitch that has cropped up ... it's already full.

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