Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hooray For Woolies!

The kind you wear.

There was some talk about bike rides today. One comment by Robert suggested that since it would be 35F at 9 Am, rides should start at 10:00. Robert was off by a degree. It was 34 when I shoved off at 9:00. Remarkably, I was alone on my bike! With a birthday upcoming, I was gifted with some Joneswear wool: a turtleneck base layer and (2) two color jerseys (a long and a short sleeve), as well as Ibex wool gloves with cool, antelope pattern rubber grippies on the palm. Today, I wore a very thin Swobo base layer and then the Joneswear turtle neck, the short sleeve wool jersey and covered it all with a Comp-Velo (our local race team. The company I work for is a minor sponsor) team wind jacket. (Swobo/Jones/Jones/Velo. Reads like a Egyptian sarcophagus, doesn't it?) Wool Joneswear shorts and a pair of Hind tights kept me warm below deck. Joneswear wool socks in Nike Air hi-top BBall shoes on my feet (You never know when you'll pedal by a good pick up game of 2 on 2) and I was good to go. Oh, a wool bike cap under the helmet. A gal (Jackie Walz) up north hand makes these and sells them very reasonably on Ebay. You can email her any special request you have and she is able to stitch it up for you. You can also buy regular (somewhat fancier and pricier) stuff at their family's store. Wool keeps you warm when it gets wet. and it doesn't stink.

Despite what my guffawing critics think, thin merino wool wicks away sweat in the summer and keeps you cooler than any of the new hi tech fabrics. And once again, it doesn't stink. It is more work to wash, when you finally decide it's time. I get 4 - 6 wearings between washing, btw.

The bigger problem today was a month has elapsed since I last seriously did hills. My legs are indeed grumbling..

The route was an adaptation of our Prattville Loop Hill drill from the Summer series that the club has had the past couple of years. I chose the heaviest bike in the garage, with fatso 38.5 mm Ourson tires. On a cold day, the cush is great. For some reason, you feel the jarring of bumps more keenly when it's cold out. Average speed was down a mph or two, so what? It was sunny and lovely, and I thought about cadence and effort level management. The Holly trees are bursting with bright red berries now. I noticed several on Durden Rd. A rare freight train came through town and that meant stopping to wait and watch it go by. This crossing lacked barriers, so it is a GREAT idea to stop at tracks and look before proceeding. I stopped downtown at Heritage Park as always and took in the scenery. A deli is now open on Court St, and its location duly noted for a lunch time expedition on some work day.

There is some talk about a trip up to WV for Thanksgiving. My middle sister, who is the prospective hostess, left me a wall comment on Facebook this week. She said she'd "call in a couple of days" to discuss details. So far no word. Should I take the hint? There is a ham in our fridge to bring, but I suppose we could eat it here ourselves :) The youngest of us 3 sibs is in NJ and puportedly driving to WV as well. Probably 4 or 5 years have slipped by since we spent the holiday together. Certainly not since the move to Heart of Dixie.

A word about Ginger in Plant City. She's all grown up now, but when she was younger, we attended the same church. Her older sister was one of the JHS/HS kids I had for Sunday School maybe one or two terms. She's been fighting and doing well against lymphoma for some time. Recently, it flared up and she's had a marrow transplant. Lots of details but the short of it is that for about the 2d time in my life, I heard a calling to pray on her behalf specifically for a step she was going through at that time. She reported later in her blog that she felt better (at the time I was praying, natch) and thanked everyone that prayed for her. I haven't talked much about the "calling" thing, and who knows which prayer it was that was efficacious? Okay, I sort of think I know. I pray for lots of people and things all the time, as so many of us do. It's a very special feeling though to have a distinct sense of calling, step out and do it (you are foolish to trust God right? What if it doesn't work out? That's how we feel mostly.) and see a result. I know it does a lot for MY faith. We're doing a Sunday study in John, and in numerous instances, we read that the purpose of the miracles performed was so that people would come to faith, or come to better faith. So, Ginger is still in a lot of prayers, mine included. Just the regular ones today though. :)


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