It’s Cold, Cold World

On The Commute:

After taking a week out of the saddle I knew there would be an adjustment period with riding again. My fitness was suspect. I was in pretty decent shape to drink all night, cut a rug, and score poorly playing a karaoke game but pedaling in +-20 degree weather didn’t seem as fun as the prior mentioned activities, yet here we are.

I was surprised that I still knew where all my gear was. As of a week ago it was cast into a hamper. I needed the break or so I thought. I’d been averaging 90 commute miles a week in whatever ridiculous weather that happened to be on the menu that day.

My ritual had been to take a shot of liquor in the morning when the weather dipped into the 20’s, but with a week where the weather shouldn’t climb too much higher than 30, I had to halt the tradition. I just can’t sit across from my kids as they eat their Cheerios, shooting whiskey then slamming the glass on the table, demanding the keep to bring more. I’m already setting a horrible example for them by changing into something a little more comfortable around the house and having that item be Lycra.

3 days after my Garmin 705 finally booted it was time to ride. My legs were not appreciative. They much more liked the life of laying in bed, getting up to throw on sweats and then jumping back in bed. The first few turns of the cranks, made me acutely aware that this was not to be an epic ride. Before I turned up the block, I had already regretted being a responsible parent. In my favor the air was fairly still making the wind chill a comfortable 13 degrees. Paradise.

It didn’t take long before my balaclava had been compromised. I could feel my little capillaries freezing. I’ve had better feelings, but then I’ve had worse, so I was ok. My Gore jacket and Performance insulated tights held up to the task. I don’t quite understand the science behind wicking clothing, but whatever the Air Force gained from the crash at Roswell, the fabric does well to keep me dry. My hands will forever be an issue. I use Bar Mitts with a fairly thin pair of gloves. They eat up some of the wind, but mother nature’s been at this for billions of years, so she has the advantage.

I purposely ride the route I plan on using in the evening, so I can spot ice on the opposite side of the road. It’s not foolproof, but any advantage I can use to ride safer, gets implemented.

Come mile 10 I start to feel better and just in time to go into work. In hindsight, it couldn’t have been that cold as I used my most unfrozen digit to stop my Garmin. Leave no mile untracked.

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