There were only three of us, and for good reason. The wind chill when we started getting ready last weekend was two… and not the good two, with a C next to it. It was the other one. In Celsius you call it -17. It was butt cold. With the windchill it was almost a whole ten degrees when we started out, just Mike, Matt and I. Everyone else stayed home and played on their cyclist equivalent of a hamster wheel.
The ride wasn’t particularly fast or hard, it was definitely short, but it was absolutely a fun time. I find it amazing that I wasn’t colder, to be honest. I was layered well though. Two pairs of gloves, three thermal layers up top and two, plus cycling shorts, below, with foot covers and wool socks. A balaclava kept my melon warm.
There were a lot of laughs as my friends and I spun away. We ended up with almost 19 miles on freshly grated dirt roads, in an hour and a half.
If I take the windchill into account it was the coldest weather I’ve ever ridden in, by a long shot… but now that I’ve done it, well 20 degrees, with the windchill in the single digits, isn’t all that bad. At least the sun was shining.
In fact, as we were rolling up to my driveway, my buddy Mike mentioned the sun and how we would finally get a bit of Vitamin D! Matt and I both laughed and added, “Yeah for what it’s worth! We only have four square inches of exposed skin!”
As cold as it was, and as gnarly as the pins and needles were as I showered, it still beat the hamster wheel.
I would have loved to add a photo to this post for you, so you could have a laugh at how well we were bundled up, but I was afraid if I took my gloves off I’d end up with frost bite.
We are the crazy crew, because a Sunday with a bike ride is always better than a Sunday without one (or Saturday, of course).
I have to chuckle every now and again when I think back on what I used to think was cold. My friends, the new cutoff is freezing colder than the old cutoff (not counting windchill – counting that the difference is 45 degrees F or 25C).
For the longest time I relied on the fact that the winter miles would help me come springtime to get out the door. What I’ve found along the way is that as long as I dress right and pick my days well and ride the mountain bike, it’s not so bad. It absolutely beats “fat and lazy”. It’s not, though, as good as a ride in the 40’s (F) – but more on that later…