Can’t Complain Yet

I’ve been complaining for weeks – at least – about the weather.

Another local cyclist kind of put me in my place by reminding me that registration closed Wednesday for the Minnesota Ironman Bicycle Ride.

This Ironman is strictly a bike ride, not a triathlon. Minnesota’s event has permission from the World Triathlon Association to use the Ironman moniker.

According to the ride’s website, it’s the state’s “longest running century (100-mile) ride.”

When cyclists roll out of the Washington County Fairgrounds just outside of Stillwater, early April 28, it will be the Ironman’s 47th annual run.

Bob Hines and I tested our foul weather clothes pretty well by riding the 100-mile route of the 2010 Minnesota Ironman Bike Ride. But we wore only some of that gear for a few hours once during the week-long Bicycle Tour of Colorado later that year.

Because it’s always held in late April or early May, it’s not unusual for the weather to be uncooperative.

To put it simply – it often sucks.

But the ride’s organizers have embraced the weather issue and use it as a selling point.

“We Ride Rain Or Shine,” is the event’s slogan.

I’ve also heard, “All we guarantee is wind, rain and snow.

You might say the Ironman proves there can be winter weather in Minnesota to the end of April and beyond.

My friend, Bob Hines, and I have registered for it three times and ridden it only once.

One of the years Bob and I decided not to ride, another local rider showed more fortitude and actually completed the tour.

He saw my wife, Sofia, the next day. When she asked how the Ironman went, he responded that it was great, except for the wind, the rain and the snow.

When Bob and I actually did ride in the Ironman was the same year we signed up for the week-long Bicycle Tour of Colorado. That year we actually wanted bad weather so we could test the foul-weather riding clothes we’d be taking to Colorado.

It blew and rained

But it never snowed during that year’s Ironman.

So I suggested we ask for a refund of our registration money.

Bob shot down that idea.

It turned out that we didn’t really need all that extra clothing in Colorado.

The temperature was around freezing when we started our ride the second day of the tour, but it climbed to 80 degrees by noon.

It never snowed in the mountains, as literature from the tour organizers indicated it could, and the only rain came in the form of a light sprinkle on the last hour of the last day.

Overall, we had more bad weather in one day riding the Minnesota Ironman than in a week in the mountains of Colorado.

But I guess the history of the Ironman proves I really can’t complain in earnest about Minnesota weather for a few more weeks.

And, even then, I’ll probably get that chance.