I don’t often regret my bike rides. Many times it comes to the point where I have to change into biking gear and I really don’t feel like it, but I force myself to change and go out, and by the time I get home I’m glad I did. Today was not one of those days. (If that doesn’t cue you in, I’m going to complain about my ride today. Probably you want to skip this post since I’m venting.)

Today nothing went wrong — no accident, no mechanicals, no reasonable weather complaints (saying “it’s cold” in December seems excessively whiny), not even a flat tire. But before leaving, the kiddo and I spent several delightful hours at the dazzling Tolt-Macdonald Park and we didn’t get home until midafternoon. I inhaled a couple pieces of cold leftover pizza and salad and hit the road.

Actually, it felt more like the road hit me. Those pizza slices sat like lead in my stomach and my legs dragged like lead on the pedals. Almost from the moment I left, I wished I’d taken a nap instead.

The route I picked goes out to colder areas, where the temperature dipped to freezing — or, really, had never risen above freezing all day. I started seeing icy patches on the shoulder and worrying about how the entire (completely untreated; what? This is Washington!) road looked wet but could harbor black ice anywhere. My ice-slipping paranoia dialed to 11 because this morning on our walk we crept along at a snail’s pace after discovering a thin and excitingly slippery layer of ice covering literally every black road surface.

I’ve ridden that route a number of times over the last nine months, and on October 27 I set a course PR for myself, averaging 17.6 mph (it has some hills… and, okay, I admit: I’m slow this year. Don’t judge). Today the part of the course I finished I averaged a snail-like 16.7 mph. To accomplish that dubious achievement, I was breathing hard and my legs were telling me in no uncertain terms that I was working quite hard — a claim not supported by my power output or speed, alas.

Between the pizza, my crap legs and depressing fitness, and anxiety about ice, I threw in the towel. I skipped the modestly rolling last five miles and rode home on the flat, extremely popular Sammamish River Trail instead. It was just depressing.

In partial redemption, though, I enjoyed one of my favorite sunset views, looking west from Education Hill across Sixty Acres Park.

Sixty Acres in December
December 28, 3:50 pm. Notice the sun so far to the south it’s not even in the shot.

Back in April, I encountered a very similar view but with the sun in a completely different part of the sky.

Sunset S-Works at Sixty Acres
April 15, 4:15 pm. Notice the sun in the west.

I’m thankful for a lovely end to a dismal ride. Story of 2020, perhaps? We can only hope…

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