Fall is an absolutely stellar time to go mountain biking in the Yukon.
It was a Sunday slated for chores when my guy gives me a call from his shop and says, “Get geared up, we’re going for a mountain bike ride.”
I had felt the heat of the sun on my shoulders when I stepped outside, a few minutes earlier, and that sure sounded like a better idea than doing chores.
I always miss something when I haven’t had a chance to plan for an outing. Even knowing the night before that I am going for a ride the next day means that, when I do go about getting ready, my brain already knows what is expected of it.
I didn’t do too badly. I put together some food for the ride – to eat before, actually – breakfast was pretty much used up. I threw on my gel shorts and some warmer stretch leggings along with a thin wool tank underneath a long-sleeve zip “T” and a quilted cycling jacket, threw my bike on the back of the truck and took off.
I was driving past the airport in the midst of one of those rain showers where the drops are about the size of marbles, when I thought, Maybe I should have brought a rain jacket.
I didn’t go back home to get it and felt real good about my decision as I drove out the other side of the rain shower and back into the sunshine.
The ride started great. I had to peel the quilted cycling jacket and my new ski patrol buff off in the first 10 minutes.
The only adjustment after that was to put the buff back on over my helmet to keep the cold wind out of my ears. It was a very unique look. The buff is a very busy combination of primary red, yellow and blue.
When I asked the guy what he thought, he intimated that I was sporting a “Grandma Susie” look.
We’d gone out by the back roads and decided to take the Alaska Highway home. By this time, it was starting to rain and we were definitely feeling cool – in an environmental, not in a fashion sense.
Within five minutes on the highway, those marble-sized (OK, I am exaggerating … pea-sized) raindrops had returned. This was becoming an adventure. I lost sight of my guy pretty quick; he seems to ride a lot faster when he’s cold.
It was after the small bits of hail started showing up on my sleeves and my leggings that I passed a couple of other cyclists coming the other way. The guy in shorts and a T-shirt was grinning, as I suppose was I, as I thought how absurd the situation was. We both ground on, to keep warm if nothing else.
By the time I got back to my car, the rain was gone, the sun was out and once I got my wet leggings and zip-T off, I was actually warm and feeling fantastic.
As I say, riding in the Yukon in the fall is great but, it’s about the hail !?!