February has been a rough month for me, in many ways, not the least of which because of snow and ice. When there’s ice on the roads, I don’t bike, for fear of sliding. When I don’t bike for extended amounts of time, I get cranky. Until this week, I biked 4 times for the entire month. I was not in a good mood.
When I saw that the temperatures were going to be above freezing this week, I rejoiced. I just had to get a few commuting miles in, before I leave for a weeklong conference. This Thursday, the roads looked fairly clear, so I decided to bike to work.
The roads were manageable, but one of the trails I take still had patches of ice in spots. I got off and walked my bike a couple of times. I saw a guy ahead of me take his feet off the pedals and gingerly tread on the trail with the bike beneath him. My, I thought, this guy is being overly cautious. I called out to pass him.
As I headed off the trail, I thought the coast was clear, for I didn’t see any ice patches ahead of me. I turned left– and slipped on the dreaded black ice. I fell hard on my bad knee.
My worst fears realized. I got up and was in pain. The guy I passed caught up to me a few minutes later and asked if I was all right. I managed to say that I was. “Damn ice,” he said, and pedaled away. I was grateful he didn’t make fun of me for being a jerk.
I managed to bike the rest of the way to work, but my knee was hurting me. It was okay while I was riding, funny enough, but once my feet were on solid ground, pain shot up my leg when I walked. After work, I steeled myself for the ride home. The day warmed up, and most of the ice had melted on the trail on the way back. I iced my knee and took some ibuprofen that evening. Thankfully, due to the layers I was wearing, my bruising was minimal.
The forecast called for sun and temperatures in the upper 50s F this weekend. I thought about going to yoga, but I needed– needed!– to be outside. My knee still hurt a bit, but it felt much better. I opted to go on a ride. I decided to go to Proteus Bicycles and try out their Pastry Ride.
I didn’t entirely know my way there, and there was still quite a bit of ice on the trails in this direction, so I ended up arriving at the bike shop a lot later than I had anticipated. Fortunately, the group was still there, so I was able to join the ride. Jeff, the leader, welcomed me and was very friendly, telling me about the history of the shop and about the route.
The ride stopped at Shortcake Bakery. I got a lovely oatmeal scone. The group sat down and chatted while drinking coffee and nibbling on baked goods. Although I wanted to go back to the store with the group, I decided to cut home instead, so I thanked Jeff for a great ride and rode away.
This was probably the most enjoyable shop ride I’ve been on, and I’ve been on my fair share of them. When I’m finally done with school (four more weeks!), I promise to go back and visit Proteus again. I’m glad I got the chance to be on the bike this weekend, and with a good group.