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.