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Triathlon Chronicles: I know I’m crazy now

Home of the Tri-Goddess Triathlon in June, the Waterloo Rec Area also attracts crazy people with bikes on a snowy April day.

What happened to spring? It was warm and sunny when I made a plan with Partners in Crime 1 and 2 to bike the route of the Tri-Goddess Triathlon today. I pulled out of the drive to go to work this morning and noticed snow flurries. I sent a text to Partner in Crime 2: “It was snowing when I pulled out of drive today. What’s up with that?” (that last bit was, uh, abbreviated in the usual text-speak. No, not WUWT. ). PIC2: “I know. Not a great invite to bike outside!” And later – me: “We can at least drive the route, biking is a big maybe.” PIC2: “We can give it a Tri!” Isn’t she hilarious? Right.

I get home at noon and it was still trying to snow. It’s 43 degrees out and windy. “Are we biking in snow?” I ask. “Not sure I have snow tires ;)” PIC2 – the funny one – texts back: “Ha ha! My bike is loaded and ready!” Well, crap. I eyeball some ski pants and decide that might be a little extreme, not to mention uncomfortable. I start layering long underwear with running capris, find a turtleneck, add a hoodie. Warm socks, earband, gloves, and then I throw a fleece and a pair of heavier sweat pants (confiscated from Son #2, the only one of us crazy enough to run outside in the winter) in a bag. The Partners pull up and we load my bike, and off we go. Partner in Crime #2 keeps trying to point out glimpses of sunshine, which PIC1 and I never manage to see.

We pull into the rec area – which is absolutely deserted, maybe because it is WINTER – and consult the route map. We decide to drive the route first. It’s all paved roads – well, Michigan paved roads – and the route is 10.8 miles. The sky is that dark winter gray, and is still spitting snow. The route looks good – lots of flat cruising, some hills – but nothing, we all agree, that made you sit up and say “Oh, my God!”  We pull back into the parking lot and contemplate our next move, which, if we had any sense at all, should have been to head to the nearest Starbucks. Partner in Crime #1 says, “Well, we’re here. And I like a challenge…” And since she is the quiet, sensible one, I know we are doomed.

The sun did not come out. But we only saw a few flurries at the beginning and the weather held for the duration of the ride. Last year’s mile marks and arrows were still visible on the pavement. After Mile 3, we were somewhat warmed up. After Mile 5, we were nice and toasty, and I was glad I didn’t add more layers. Traffic was light and the route was pretty and quiet. Sandhill cranes, all decked out in their cinnamon colors, ignored us as we puffed by.  At about Mile 9, we made the mistake of stopping for a few minutes, which just allowed our butts to un-numb – the last 1.8 miles were slow and against the wind. As we cruised into the parking area, the lone worker greeted us with a cheery but somewhat puzzled “How are ya?” I replied “Crazy.” And as we loaded the bikes and left the parking lot, big fat snowflakes quickly turned into a small blizzard. So, maybe not as crazy as it could have been.


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Rebecca Foster writes about food, politics, books and whatever has irritated her on any particular day, on her website Usual and Ordinary ( She is an occasional contributor to The Livingston Post and has remained active in local politics and the community after serving as Pinckney Village President from 2004-2012, and as a trustee currently. She is enjoying empty-nesting in Pinckney with her husband, three cats and a few chickens.