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Cyclingcicles…

December 2015
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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…

image

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.

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16 Comments

  1. bonnev659 says:

    ice fog stinks riding into it.. never know about black ice or worst frozen bike parts! i rode yesterday in shorts, reg jersey, thermal jacket, and reg gloves (hands was sweating but I take that over unable to hit breaks as hands too cold)

    googles are way to go once it hits teens or less in my book. but loving no salt on the roads in Dec!

  2. Any time outside on the bike this time of year is a blessing. Nice to hear what it was like on your side of the big lake. I also rode at 9 AM in the morning (I also pay tribute to Mrs. Redundant Lady), a singletrack ride that started in the fog, ended in the sun. By the middle of the ride, my buddies and I went back to shed a layer. My Woolie Boolies were perfect for this weather….

    Congrats to your daughter on her #1 medal.

  3. Dan says:

    So funny! What does your daughter play? I may have to post just a picture of my instruments sometime.

  4. jlouisemac says:

    I never thought to wear my balaclava riding- I’ll need to whip mine out today.

  5. Sheree says:

    Congratulations to your daughter

  6. bribikes says:

    Awesome! You rode through fog and ice and cold…personally, I find that kind of ride more challenging than a “dry cold” type of ride, riding in colder temps can be easier as long as you wearing enough to stay warm. Embrace the goggles!

    It makes me wonder, do you think you need to wear more clothing then the average person in the cold? I know hot weather doesn’t bother you much, maybe your body is very efficient and conservative about producing heat…a trait that is not so desirable when winter strikes.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Actually, it’s more about getting the clothing right more than thicker. It’s about sweat management. You know, I ride really fast. This means I work really hard and sweat a lot… too much is almost as bad as not enough. I hit the lotto today with layers. An ultra thin tech base layer, a thin long sleeved jersey, a thermal long sleeve and a wind blocker vest. It’s quite intricate and as soon as I figure out how to keep it short and sweet, I’ll write it up. Thanks Bri.

      • bribikes says:

        Yeah, speed and intensity make a huge difference in the winter. I often use it as my thermostat…if I am cold on a ride I speed up, if I start overheating and sweating I dial it back down and unzip my jacket.

      • bonnev659 says:

        haha today, I was in my summer gear, in 44 degrees… needless to say I wont be doing that again.. if the sun was out it would have been okay but no sun made it cold when going fast..

      • bgddyjim says:

        44 in summer gear? That’s not good. It was 26 when we went out today and I was decked out.

      • bonnev659 says:

        yes.. it was 20 when i woke up with a ice fog.. but once it hit 40 and it was sunny i was pumped.. the sun went away when i was doing my pre ride check (inflating tires, looking at brakes, cables and other items I check after a ride too)… i am thinking it be trainer time for me soon, and also have to get ready for Tour of Sufferlandria!

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