Saturday, January 2, 2010

-14F in the Shade

When I awoke this morning a saw that the temp was a negative 14F, I was exited. "Woo hoo! I've never rode a bike when it's that cold". I put on all my gear, which takes awhile and threw some extra's in my pack in case I was underdressing. The air was crisp. My nose burned when I inhaled. When I pulled Frankie out of the unheated garage and pushed off, the front brakes started squealing. They didn't stop until it got up to -5 in the early afternoon. My ride over to meet with some friends was nice, except for the squealing, I suppose. I was sweating mildly by the time I got there. I was a little disappointed that nobody said "what are doing? are you crazy?". But they know me well enough to not be surprised about what conditions I ride in.

Later, I got a chai and ran some errands. Before arriving home, I stopped at a grocery in my neighborhood to buy some ice cream. When I got back on the bike, I decided not to put my Pearl izumi ski mask(pictures coming in future post) back on because I was only 5 blocks from home. On that short ride I realized how valuable that mask is to my comfort, because my face was really cold when I got home. I went inside and wasn't feel too cold except for my face and the back of my feet. But I figured a hot shower would be smart because sometimes the chill won't go away and I don't like getting sick. That was a good move. My feet and chest were tingly with mild frostbite. After a long hot shower, some lotion and some warm clothing they are back to normal.

Besides the squealing drum brakes and cold feet, I really enjoyed being out there in the elements. Next time I will take steps to make sure my feet and chest are better protected. I only saw two other cyclists on my travels, but figure there will be more when they get tired of being inside all the time. They don't know what they are missing out on.


Trisha said...

Brave man! Although I get that same feeling of adventure when I go on rides that are colder/hotter/rainier than any I've tried before. It is exhilarating. Went on a brief ride in 17 degree temps here today and forgot to put my ear coverings on -- with the wind chill, it was pretty brutal.

spiderleggreen said...

It is all relative. What about the blogger Sox, up in Winnipeg? Now that's cold!

The rides where I go "Oh s**t! I don't think I put enough on." are exhilarating, especially after I know I'll survive with all my body parts. Ha ha!

Take care of those ears.

anna said...

Wow, that's very cold!!! I already start disliking my rides when it gets to -10°C (+14 F). Maybe with the sunshine it's not so bad. In Vienna it's just always so gray and windy :(.

spiderleggreen said...

This nice thing about subzero is the sun is always shining, unless it's dark, which is a lot.

As for discomfort, it's possible to deal with that by adding the right clothing, but part of the chill is the fact that you haven't gotten used to the drop in temperature. For me, it can take 2 or 3 days to adjust to a change in the temperature. But finding a way to ride my bike is always preferable to the cabin that comes from hibernating too long.

Dottie said...

Damn, that is cold and awesome! That's past my "too cold" limit. Please share what you do for your hands. My hands freeze terribly in weather like that.

spiderleggreen said...

Dot~ I have a blog or two, just about ready to go on clothing. But the quick answer on hands for me is liner gloves. Most of the ones I have used are black. The ones I have now are Smartwool. Combine them with gloves or mitts and my hands stay much warmer.