A simple post, albeit a little late. Last week temperatures in much of the Midwest was … beyond cold. Highs were lucky to approach -5ºF on a couple of the days, and winds were throwing the temperatures into the -30º and -40º range with windchills.
I’ve gone headfirst into this lifestyle change, and while I admit I can be a little preachy, overbearing, and a little narcissistic about it all – hopefully I’m throwing some good information here and there to keep you from rolling your eyes too much.
That being said, this is totally for bragging rights. My coldest ride that I’ve ever done was -1ºF. I’ve raced in below freezing temperatures, ridden plenty this year so far in low teens and single digits. Opportunities to test oneself through harsh conditions like this don’t come up every day – so how could I not take it?
It was -15ºF when I left for work last Thursday morning. The only changes I made to my usual wardrobe was adding in another pair of cycling pants, and chemical toe warmers just in case. Minus having a problem with a frozen rear hub that wouldn’t engage after a stop 6 miles in … it was just like any other day. I honestly was a little disappointed. Maybe all the apparent danger that most others were hyping up let me down, maybe it’s because I’m not actually traveling through the Alaskan Wilderness. There’s only so much danger from the elements you can be in when riding in a city of 250,000 I guess.
Don’t get me wrong, it was still a blast. There was definitely a sense of solidarity among the other cyclists that I saw out riding that morning and night. The nods were more defined, the hands stretched out farther for a wave. I even got a fist pump from a similarly dressed rider. An action, in my opinion, that is wholly underused in today’s society.
The coolest part about the ride? By the end, I had a 3″ long icicle on my chin hanging from my balaclava. Not something you see every day, eh?
It’s way easier than you think, though, to ride in all this weather. Try it, you’ll surprise yourself. I was actually warmer my entire ride than I would’ve been had I jumped in my car w/o warming it up, and drove to the store. How’s that for a fun fact? 😀
On an unrelated note, I’m currently fighting something in my body that has nothing to do with riding in “Awesome” temperatures. I hope it passes, so I can get back to training on the bike.
I won’t lie, cold weather is fun, but I’m anxiously awaiting spring.