There was supposed to be this all-women's mtb ride at the Fells yesterday. I decided I would just ride from work. Its 9mi to work, 8.5mi from work to the Fells, and 12.5mi home from there. I figured thats only 30 miles of riding, even out of shape and with a little mtb ride in the middle, I can do that.
Being sunny in the morning, this girl left in shorts and a short sleeved jersey. Luckily, I brought gloves. When I left work, it was cold and raining. Now, the smart person would have gone home, taken a warm shower, and curled up with a mug of hot chocolate. I entertained that thought for about 17 seconds, and then decided, what's a little rain? Its not like I never train in the rain, I may as well get used to it. I'll be riding, I won't get cold. <-- this is what we call being stupid. Cold+wet+Alex=hypothermia and general miserableness.
Rode north to the Fells, and didn't really get lost, but definitely took a wrong turn. At 6:01, I realized I was all the way on the east side, which was not where the ride was leaving from. Managed to find a map (I had drawn one out for me, but I left it on my desk), and figured out where I had to go. I got there, and it was 6:20 and there were no cars. I decided to go ride on my own, since I was there. I figured that I could do a little ride, just to warm up in the woods, and then I would go home. I should mention that I was sopping wet.
About three feet into the trail, I realized my hands were too cold to shift or brake... I think it was about this point when my core started shivering so badly I couldn't stop my teeth from chattering. I was pretty much at that point where you become completely useless because you are so cold. I proceeded to call everyone I know trying to find a ride, because the prospect of riding 12 miles in the rain on a mtb seemed pretty bad... I wasn't sure I could do that, actually. Finally got through to someone, and while waiting for her, crouched over the sink in the ranger station bathroom with warm water running over my hands and feet...
I don't think I've been that stupid or that hypothermic in a really long time. I almost couldn't push the buttons on the phone. The kicker: I got home and there was an email from the girl leading the ride saying it was called off. This is bad experience number two (of two) at the fells. (The first one involved a bonk and being lost and riding in the dark with no lights). And I didn't even get to ride off road!
On a happier note, its sunny out (checked the weather; it will be sunny all day) and I rode my Pinarello in to work today, and its so smooooooooth. I think I'm in love. How come nobody told me how nice steel bikes are to ride??