A light drizzle falls as we say our temporary goodbyes and mount our bicycles, briskly pedaling up the lane, then coasting down the ice-and-snow-coated gravel to the hard road. It feels warm—with temps in the 40s reminiscent of the spring thaw, especially compared to last week’s single digits and below-zeros. It’s warm enough that I don’t mind the rain, and it is a welcome refreshment rather than a chilly nuisance.
As we begin to climb, my hangover-less body is grateful that I made the choice to limit my beer consumption at the party the night before. Tires crunch through a thin layer of snow on top of wet dirt. It’s a gradual uphill, enough to get the blood flowing, the lungs pumping, but still allows for conversation and observation of the surrounding world. It’s quiet, no one else stirring this Sunday morning.
Before I know it, we’re at the top, looking down over the lake and dam. Mud flies in our faces as we descend, careful not to slip on a patch of ice. It was nice to ride without snot freezing in our noses, no windchill burning our faces. The descent was still chilly, but not in that body-numbing, bone-chilling way that is so familiar in these winter months.
We reach the closed section of road, and then we’re riding on snow again, ice waterfalls falling down the cliffs to our left, the thawing river flowing far below on our right.
We stop to admire the ice. Evan breaks off a piece, posing for pictures with it in a variety of goofy ways. Giggling, we get back on our bikes and continue, all the way back to the shop, where hot showers await.
Before the snow could melt completely, winter returned in full force the next day with its icy grip on the land. But the brief weekend respite from the freezing temps was much appreciated, a hint of the spring that is to come, someday.