Sunday, December 21, 2008

Oh so cold...

So, Saturday.... cold and windy. Temp was 23 and a cold NW wind was blowing. I had to ride.... why? Well, here is my challenge.

I am trying to ride my bike, outside (no indoor miles count) a total of 2000 miles a year. Now, this is not as epic as some riders out there, but it is a realistic stretch goal for me. See, I travel for work, 98% out of state, I have 3 kids and a wife who works outside the home. So with travel, running kids around and schedule issues, I can't ride as much as I would like. I try to commute one day a week, which is all I really can manage, and that only happens about half the time. I am trying to increase that over the next year. I ride most weekends and ride year round. So, this year I am currently, as of today at 1908 miles. 92 to go.

92 is not too bad.... unless the roads stay snow and ice covered or the temps stay in the single digits. But, I am bound and determined to get those 92 miles.... and just by placing those words here, I am really committed to it. The last few years I have missed the 2000 mile goal by as little as 200 miles..... which is hard to make up in a few days. But this year I am SOOOO close... that I really want it. So stay tuned.

So, back to Saturday. 23 degrees, brisk NW winds. I bundle up like this....

and head out the door. Layers are:

  • Thick Balaclava
  • Helmet
  • Helmet cover

  • Thermax Turtle Neck
  • Long sleeve Jersey
  • Thin down vest (that my mother made from a kit 30 years ago)
  • Wind shell

  • Regular tights
  • Rain pants

  • Winter socks
  • Regular cycling shoes
  • Neoprene booties

  • Glove liners
  • Thick ski gloves

Roads are generally clear although on some of the lesser used roads there are patches of ice and such....
so I have to be careful. I found no issues with ice that I could not ride around or navigate with caution.

I did miscalculate one thing.... the NW wind was a tailwind going out.... so... of course.... a headwind coming home. And it got more intense as the ride went on.... doh. Add to that the cold toes I was experiencing and it was a miserable return.

Got home fine. Was plenty warm except for the feet. Toes were cold. Really need something different in the sock dept. These were not wool.

I also found that the layers I had one, while working fine for an hour and a half ride, would not have worked for a whole lot longer.... mainly due to the fact that I was condensing inside my layers and would have soon started to get cold. I think I need to invest in wool.

So, weather looks like this:
(OK, so it's hard to read) Looks like Friday, Sat and Sunday will be nice enough to get some miles in. I may be able to get a small ride in Monday or Wed., but with all the holiday stuff and I am working 3 days this week, I may have to rely on Friday, Sat and Sunday. I still think the 2000 is possible.... may the weather hold.

1 comment:

BadgerLand said...

I feel for you man...we did the spring classic route (50) and I had 9 miles dead into that wind on the turn home. Wool is worth every penny you pay for it...I wear it year-round and love it.

I hope you make your goal...have a great holiday. I'll be up in the frozen tundra cross training with nordic skiing.