It was one degree below freezing when we wheeled our mountain bikes out the front door at 9 am (in the morning, Mrs. Redundant Lady). The fog was thick enough that what was supposed to be a marvelous 40 mile road ride turned into a dirt road mountain bike ride.
I was dressed perfectly for the cold, with the exception of my socks, because I always have to do one stupid thing. I was worried that my wool socks would be too much with my boots. For the first 45 minutes the cotton socks I chose were just fine. We cranked out mile after mile over the often mucky back roads. Smile on my face, talking with my wife and best cycling bud, Mike. My only worry was knowing I’d have to spend some time cleaning my Rockhopper Sport 29er that had been showroom clean when we walked out the door.
We rode with our Thunderbolt taillights blazing, in the event we encountered traffic but they were, gratefully, almost for naught. I think we had three cars pass us from behind the whole ride.
The cold, mixed with the moisture from the fog, bit at the eight square inches of exposed flesh around my balaclava’s mug opening. My clear glasses long since relegated to clinging to my helmet’s vents because, as necessary as they may be to keep debris out of my eyes as I roll down the road, they do little good if one can’t see out them anyway. Goggles may become a necessity if I keep this up, Bri.
Fourteen miles in, still smiling, grateful and talking with my best friend and best bud, I noticed that I had icicles forming on my arms. Two miles later I noticed the humorously thick layers of ice clinging to my gloves. Two miles later, I noticed the ice clinging to my… um… nether-regions. I’d pulled out an old pair of tights to go over my leg warmers and shorts and they must have been doing a decent job because I was only mildly chilly and I had ice forming on my goruinias.
What are goruinias, you ask? Fellas, if you get kicked there, it go’-ruin-ya. Seriously.
We continued on to our friend’s Adam and Diane’s house where we committed the mortal cold weather cycling sin… We stopped to say hi.
I had ice on my bikes cable housings (I have no exposed steel cables on my bike, they’re 100% covered with housing except where they exit to attach to the front and rear derailleurs), my handlebar, my shock… basically every leading edge of my bike. Ice on my helmet, gloves, arms… again, leading edges. I shook the ice off, best I could and we took a few to talk with our friends who spend almost all of their rides on their tandem pulling us down the road.
After ten minutes or so, I realized it was too cold for my shock to work properly and I had reached critical cold… So cold, if I don’t move my butt right now, I’m gonna curl up in the fetal position on the ground and whine for a ride home. I took a few laps around the driveway to move as we said our goodbyes.
Two and a quarter miles later, the sun started to peak through the fog and we rolled into our driveway.
20-1/2 cold, awesome miles. And it beat the hell out of the trainer.
From there, we took my daughter to her Regional Solo and Ensemble where she scored a 1 and got a medal, then to her diving lesson…
Then off to dinner with my friends to celebrate my sober anniversary, finally, after it got snowed out a couple of weeks ago.
As days go, this was a good one – even if we only got half of our intended miles.