Ride In & Ride Home 1/7

Let’s get one thing perfectly clear: I’m not a fan of winter. I used to actively dislike winter, but now I more or less tolerate it. I don’t like the cold. I don’t like short days.

However, after not biking for a few days due to potential slippery conditions from ice and snow, and not having studded tires, I started to become cranky. I decided biking > cold weather. Today, the roads looked relatively dry, so I decided to go for it. Never mind that it was 9F when I left my house.

This is what I wore on the bike: long underwear top and bottom, turtleneck, heavy sweater, dress pants, bike pants, 3-in-1 jacket, wool socks, hiking shoes, lobster gloves, balaclava, helmet.

My face stung, but otherwise I felt fine starting out. I saw one biker on the trail who followed me for a while, and then turned right when I turned left after crossing the bridge. When we crossed the bridge, it made sharp cracking sounds, which made me worry a little, but we got to the other side okay. I was kind of hoping he would catch up to me and chat (I don’t know, about the weather?), but I didn’t slow down either (I wanted to keep my momentum going), so we didn’t talk.

The road made crackly sounds while I was riding. I couldn’t tell whether it was my tires or the road. I started getting pretty warm, and I was sort of afraid that I would start sweating and that it would freeze. I may have been sweating a little, but I didn’t get chilled. I think I may have had one layer too many on the top.

Up the hill to “my” trail. I had my balaclava over my mouth, which kept me warm, but at some point I felt like it was choking me, so I pulled it away from my mouth (difficult to do with lobster gloves) so that I could pant freely up the hill. The wind was a bother, but I never felt like it threatened to blow me off the bike.

My fingers and toes started to hurt maybe a mile before I got to work. But I arrived, and I went to the bathroom to look in the mirror to check for frostbite. My ears were fine, as were the rest of my appendages. Awright.

It was 10 degrees warmer when I left for work to go home. I had decided to take off the long underwear top, and wore a wool flap cap instead of the balaclava. Good move on the first, not so much on the second– I needed a neckwarmer, and the turtleneck wasn’t cutting it. But it was not a game changer– I kept on going.

I passed by more bikers on the way home. One guy actually said hi to me– that was nice. I also liked that it was still light out when I left. I like seeing the days get longer.

Made it home just fine. I took a pic of myself right out of the cold, but I look so hideous that it’s probably better that you don’t see this. I think I’m in a better mood for having biked. Maybe I’m addicted to biking now. I hear tomorrow’s going to be around 30F– that’s going to feel just tropical.

This post is dedicated to SharrowsDC.

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7 Responses to Ride In & Ride Home 1/7

  1. rootchopper says:

    Well done. Aren’t you glad you didn’t take my advice?

  2. MG says:

    Glad you were happy you bike commuted! Sounds like you layered up well. When it is really cold, I use Kiehls on my face to keep the sting away: http://www.kiehls.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-kiehls_us-Site/default/Product-Show?pid=911&bookmark=139350

  3. Pingback: Your Own Personal Wind Chill | A Few Spokes Shy of a Wheel

  4. Mike says:

    Lisa!
    youre cold tough.
    i now HATE the cold…and i cant get out of my cold induced funk..and now another week of cold misery…or, to be more accurate: HISTORIC cold misery…
    we are going to drop in at your new house when we get a chance to ride out to Proteus on thursday nite, if it ever warms up into the 30s!!!!…

  5. Great job motivating yourself to get out there even in this very cold weather. It’s still a challenge to me figuring out how to dress for winter cycling. Never seem to quite get it tweaked so all body parts stay reasonably comfortable. Wool is definitely a great choice, using layers and having choices. I have the hardest time with fingers and toes, they seem to get cold no matter what. @MG thanks for the Kiehls idea!

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