Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Critical Manners

Critical Manners will ride again from the parking lot at the Arkansas Arts Center at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 6th, 2008. It's a "helmet-wearing, bell-ringing, blinkie-sportin' good time for you and all your bike friends." Practice synchronized signaling, single file riding, stopping at stop signs and NOT blowing red lights. Critical Manners will brake for pedestrians, trolleys, and even the occasional SUV.

Last week's ride was derned COLD... Only Willa and I showed up at the start time in mild winds and 33 degree temperatures, and we made a quick swoop down to Main Street and the River Market in search of a warm restaurant for dinner. Velo Rouge (French for "red bicycle," it seems) opened a welcoming door to two scruffy, frostbitten cyclists, and the food was pretty good, too.

Yes, as Willa noted, this is indeed the time of year that tries cyclists' souls, with gale force winds, cold temperatures, and darkness that stretches from the time you get off work in the evening until you have to stumble back in the office door the next morning. Many have given up riding until warmer weather comes back around, others are retreating inside to Spinning classes and nautilus machines... still other poor, misguided souls are retreating to the couch in the den to watch football games. I have a CycleOps trainer that I bought over at Chainwheel a couple of years ago with the intention to use it through the winter months, but after half a dozen sessions or so, I felt too much like a hamster on one of those little ferris wheel things, and the trainer is currently stashed in the storage shed somewheres. Me, I get my satisfaction on the road or trail primarily, and there's that pesky New Year's resolution about riding every single week to keep up with. So, I joke with my friends about finding this new weight loss program that works by freezing off various body parts, but by the time I thaw out the next morning, it's all come back.

Critical Manners has picked up some nice press locally over the past month, and there should be an article on it in the next edition of Bicycling magazine, to balance the article they ran on the more belligerent Critical Mass rides a couple of months ago. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Now, back out into the cold...

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