“Hmmmmmmm,” I said to myself this morning, “where should I ride today that I haven’t been to for a while and isn’t too far away?”
“I haven’t been to the Vermillion River recently,” I answered.
“HEY!” I shouted out excitedly, “VERMILLION! Vermillion is RED, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’m right about that, me.”
“Yes, I sure am right about that, and do I know what that means?”
“I sure do! It means I can take a couple of pictures of the Vermillion River for the Cycle365 Monthly Challenge.”
“I appreciate the excellent idea, me.”
“I’m welcome, me.”
When I was done congratulating myself on the great idea, I started riding into the -1 degree (F) morning. There was a little wind too, giving the air a wind chill factor of -17 degrees (F).
Now, some of you know that I have a pretty good system for cold weather biking. It involves lots of layers and knobby tires. Maybe even a few of you believe my claims of being a tough guy. Yet, I still prefer to stay within a couple miles of home on days like this – especially when I’m riding a bike that is truly on its last legs (or, should I say, its last wheels.) I’m still hoping my 24-year old mountain bike can hang in there until the new 2020 Surly Ogres come out in February.
You see, even us tough guys are fully aware that a flat tire or any simple mechanical issue is going to involve touching freezing cold metal. That’s why my criteria for todays ride included the words “not too far away.” For personal reasons, I’d like to avoid the pain of frostbite. No matter how well I’ve developed the ability to stay warm, I still haven’t come up with a way to change an inner tube without removing my mittens. The same is true for taking pictures & videos with my phone. Once I’ve taken the mittens off a few times, for a minute or two each time, it’s tough to warm the fingers up again. That’s why you will only find three pictures and one video in this post. It’s also why you might not see another post from me until Christmas.
That’s it for my introductory words, my whining, and my excuse-making. The rest is all serious business.
WHEN VERMILLION ISN’T RED -A Poem By Gregblood
The Vermillion River, it ain’t red,
The colorblind eyes in some guy’s head,
The crimson of life
From the gray-brown of the dead.
I have included a very short video too. Don’t worry, it doesn’t feature ME performing my usual stupid antics. As I said, the rest of this post is serious business, and the video stars a man in a red suit conducting serious business.