I’ve been to Chicago a couple of times but this time is special. I finally paid my respects to one of the greatest movies ever (if the picture isn’t enough, think Cook County Assessors Office and elevators playing “Girl from Ipanema”) and my first trip on CTA also known as Chicago Transit Authority, the name of a once-great band before going totally commercial and shortening the name to Chicago.
No cycling this trip although I certainly could have; the weather’s beautiful here. Blue skies, mid-40s. You could really be fooled about Midwest winters on a day like this.
Kevin and I had to get in a quick ride this morning since our Redwood City store, normally closed Sundays, would be open today for Christmas shoppers. That meant abandoning the usual Sunday-morning routine of saying we’ll get out the door by, say, 9am and not actually leaving until 10:15 or so. Today, if we needed to be out on the road by 8am to get back in time, then we had to be out by 8!
OK, 8:11am was still pretty close. Still had to come up with something that would alleviate the pain of getting on the scale and seeing something unfriendly, so we chose a fast run over 84 to the coast and back via Tunitas. Best thing about that loop is the coast part, because no matter how cold it is on our side of the hill, it’s always warmer near the ocean. Right?
Wrong. This morning saw the temps drop nastily in that little section just past the main descent on 84 (prior to LaHonda)… and stay nasty. And I really do mean nasty. As in, 29 degrees nasty. That was not expected, nor was it expected that the temps would stay in the very low 30s until we were within a mile or two of the coast, where it warmed up to a toasty 40 or so. But y’know, 40 sure felt a whole lot better than 30!
Predictably, nobody else was out there on the ocean side of the hill this morning, because they knew. Thankfully, my biggest fear didn’t materialize, that being the likelihood that the parallel valley that the base of Tunitas Creeks runs up, which is only a couple miles from 84, would be similarly cold. Instead, we had near-tropical temps in the low-40s, climbing to mid-40s on our way up the hill. Totally comfortable & nice! Even better, instead of getting the usual cold blast coming down Kings back into Woodside, it actually warmed up (fortunate for the very large numbers of cyclists we saw climbing up the hill this morning).
Were we prepared for the cold? Sorta. We had our best cold-weather gloves, and within a few hours the tips of my fingers didn’t hurt anymore, so I think we did ok there. No problem for the legs, with thermal tights doing a great job. Booties for the feet so the toes were only slightly blue, no biggie. But we could have done a better job up top. Thank goodness Becky had ordered some heavy-duty Pearl Izumi base layers, over which we had a standard Chain Reaction jersey. What was missing? That all-important 3rd layer, a light windbreaker, left at home. Won’t do that again! Actually I had mine with me but Kevin forgot to bring one, and I didn’t think it would be very sporting if I put one on while he suffered. Oh, you think because I’m a parent that I should have loaned it to him? The same kid who will exploit any weakness in my cycling and run me into the ground? Well, I could have not loaned it to him due to spite, but the reality is that I thought he should be taught a lesson so he won’t forget to bring the jacket next time.
The reality of course is that I forgot it was in my seat pack.