I woke up on December 31st hopeful that the temperature was warming for the day. We had 12" of snow on the ground with a dusting coating the sidewalks. I had not ridden for almost two weeks and had nearly moved my bike into the basement for the winter. I peered out at the thermometer and, holy cow, it was already 39 degrees Fahrenheit! Warm enough for me to ride... It is common to have a January thaw where all the snow disappears before the next big dump of white stuff, but clearly it was coming early this year.
Without much convincing, my oldest boy (a computer lover) wanted to accompany me on a ride to Best Buy to look at netbooks. Sunshine was quickly melting the snow into puddles. As we pedaled we negotiated the best line through the existing snow. It was a special treat to ride with my son who normally holes up with his iPod or would rather do errands by car. My son's bike does not have fenders. Mud and melting snow rooster-tailed up the back of his blue parka and even left mud freckles on his face, but clearly he was having a good time.
By the time we arrived back home our bikes were covered in mud. My son hopped off his bike and immediately went inside to recover from his hard seat (I guess I'll have to do something about that this spring). But with a satisfied smile I spent a half hour wiping both bicycles and oiling the chains. The 12 miles tipped my yearly total over the 3000 mile mark!
Phew, talk about right down to the last day...