Every winter I have spent in NYC was supposed to have been my last. I have made that promise to myself a half dozen times, and yet, here I am. However, this is the winter that has done me in. I feel like a starfish made out of puffer jackets – arms and legs stiff with layers, jutting out to the sides. (Imagine Ralphie’s little brother in A Christmas Story.) As a cyclist, winter hurts even more. My Spotify playlist has grown exponentially, and the different ways I have augmented timers to make intervals seem less painful is comical. So when the annual mid-winter break (one perk of being a public school teacher) finally came around, I leapt at the chance to seize warmer weather. My mom’s birthday was also coming up, so it only seemed appropriate to head back to my hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida. This time my girlfriend Michelle tagged along. Even though she grew up in the Northeast, there is no birthright in ignoring winter’s brutal harassment.
St. Pete can be a hard place to get any quality training in. The largest climb we have is a bridge going over the intracoastal waterway, it provides 40 seconds of solid climbing. Other than that, it’s your typical tuesday and thursday night group rides. The type of rides were local racers fight for glory and has-beens will attack the group at red lights, a feign attempt to gain any advantage available. During my trip I partook in the group rides, ambled about on a beach cruiser, and rode with some other northern transplants. Good times were had and the sunshine was plentiful.