The Spring Forward


The clocks changing is a universal marker for the changing of the seasons. Nothing else so clearly signals the ending of winter and the beginning of spring than finding every time-telling device you use and bumping it one hour forward. Or more accurately in this modern age, waking up that morning and having no idea whether your phone and computer have automatically updated themselves. You end up resorting to the microwave or coffee machine to see what the real time is. it’s a ritual. I like it. Whilst I travel enough that my body clock is flexible, the reason I like it is the perspective it gives to the year, and to the immediate future. The week of the spring forward is filled with evening sunshine; with sitting outside for the first time; with the rays of sun being backed up by warmth.


This last weekend was a great example. Friday had drawn to a close with flurries of wet, heavy snow blowing around Boulder. I rode home with my eyes covered to prevent the stinging flakes blinding me. We woke up on Saturday to glorious warm skies of high blue. The temperature set to rise and melt yesterdays’ storm. We set off up into the hills. The logic: go where the snow won’t melt, to avoid the slush and slop down below. the logic failed.


The ride ended up being a little bit painful. The ride was full of spring enthusiasm; the pace high, the increasing temperature metered by the agonisingly slushy and wet roads. The up, normally the hardest part, was the enjoyment today. Going down was an exercise in tolerance. Tolerance of numb feet, sketchy snow covered roads, and that ever increasing pain in your forehead as your face in blasted with frozen air.


Sunday. It felt like Sunday. The clock change went reasonably unnoticed as we pulled ourselves lazily from a lie-in. The sun now really did have some heat to it, and the roads had been baked dry after a full day without snow. It was spring. I dressed to ride my bike, then took off a couple layers. Took some more layers out my pockets – could I really get away with riding in bare legs? I joined a group ride leaving in proper Boulder fashion from somewhere that sells coffee for the price of sandwiches. I had neither a coffee nor a sandwich. I had my mind set on pie instead.


The ride meandered slowly up Sunshine Canyon. I’d been invited along by a friend, and had little idea who would be turning up. In the end, it was a ‘cool kids’ ride. I use the term lightly; without offense. There is a group of cyclists in Boulder who take great pride in appearance, in their ever shining bicycles. They wear the best clothes, the most closely matched colours. Their enjoyment of cycling is more than the exercise, and certainly more than the route traveled. I look on at this group with happy amusement. My cycling clothing is all team issue – it’s a saving grace for me that I’m on a well supported team. If I didn’t have that kit to wear, I’d be a mess of mismatched leg warmers and unwashed jackets. I’m accepted into the fray of embrocated legs through my fitness, I think. It’s certainly not due to my colour coordination.


I like riding with people who don’t race. They have a different perspective on every climb and every route. Breaks by the side of the road are enjoyed for their society, rather than their rest from lactic acid. Just like the changing of the clocks is a new perspective on each day, a changing of riding partners is a whole new way to look at cycling in Boulder.