Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Breaking Weather

Today's ride was a welcome change. Temps in the 40's with winds under 10 mph. The air was moist from melting ice and snow. Iced over fields now looked like newly discovered lakes. Fenders came in handy. The sun rarely peaked it's head out, but, it still felt like Spring. The day began as a 35 miler. I was feeling so good I added a few and added a few and finished with over 45 miles. It was so nice to wear single layer clothes and not have to worry about frozen fingers and toes. Getting reacquainted with distant roads and just enjoying the ride was the order of business. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Look Out Below

This past week's extreme temps has made riding quite challenging. My rule of 2's has proved effective for my core body including my head. My hands and feet are another story. I have researched to death how to keep my extremities warm but have found no real solution. I would have to add major bulk which would make shifting and pedaling difficult. It is deceiving as when I first go out I feel comfortable. One hour into the ride and a fast downhill and my fingers and toes are complaining. Another hour and they are screaming. It takes a lot of preparation to ride below freezing, but, for fun and safety I must limit my time to 90 minutes.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2 by 2

It has been down right cold. Today's temps in the low 20's. I wasn't sure whether I could enjoy a leisurely ride today so I took my Greenway for some errands. I new if things got too cold, I would not be too far from home. I find in this weather doubling up is the way to go. 2 shirts, 2 pants, 2 pair of wool socks, 2 pair of gloves, a balaclava and wool hat with earmuffs, scarf, hoodie and finally my new windbreaker jacket. It is a lot of preparation and not easy to just get up and go. It also makes walking around in stores more difficult as you have to undress and dress. When shopping in these cold temps I am not as conspicuous. Most people look like the Abominable snow man also. One thing about the Greenway, it's an attention grabber. I get a lot of "Cool Bike". It does seem a bit nuts riding in such cold but I find it COOOL!
20 miles around town

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Windbreaker Jacket

Like some of you I am not a big fan of Walmart.  I do however like their Starter brand apparel. I find them a good value and quality athletic wear.
I purchased this windbreaker jacket. It has 2 zippered pockets, a storm flap for the front zipper, extra long tail, a vented back, reflective stripes, nice fit and stylish. $15. I wear this over some layered clothes and am quite toasty on those cold rides.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Nice Start

The first week in January was cold but I managed to get 8 consecutive days of riding. The second week warmed up a bit and I only missed 2 days. I am halfway through the month and have 370 miles. Not bad! The weather is turning seasonably cold again. Today's 30 mile ride started cold and ended colder. Freezing temps are predicted. I may have to shorten my rides if I want to go out.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Birthday Challenge

More than a decade ago I set myself a challenge. Ride my age for my birthday. For the past few years, I promised myself, that I would take this challenge down south. This ride has become one of my longer rides of the year. I have to plan this event based on the weather. It has been quite cold this early part of January. Forecasters predicted a warming trend. Today seemed like the day with temps climbing into the 40's. I got an early start. It was cold, just above freezing. The winds were feisty at around 15 mph. They were with me for the first 25 miles. All I could do was put my head down and pedal slow and steady. I was determined. The sky was blue with few clouds and bright sunshine. The wind was no longer nagging and the day got warmer. A smile came to my face knowing I would again succeed. I made it home, grateful for another year.


Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Winter Riding

Winter is not a favorite time for cyclists. It doesn't mean you have to hibernate in your cocoon until the Spring thaw. You do have to plan more. Checking the weather first helps you decide what and how much layering you will need. Don't completely count on the weather forecast as you know how that goes. Overdressing is my motto. Don't expect to break any time trials. The air is thick and will slow you down. In fact I suggest you leave your fast road bike in the garage. You will be more comfortable on a hybrid type bike. All those extra layers of clothes will weigh you down. Thick warm gloves will make shifting more difficult. A roomy pair of shoes or boots with wool socks on Bmx pedals will keep your feet warmer. I don't believe you need to purchase expensive Winter cycling clothes. Fleece sweatpants, gloves and hat over your ears work well for me. You will look like the abominable snowman. Also don't expect to do any high mileage. My rides seem to average around half. For me windy grey days are the worst. Temps below freezing are also a struggle.  I would rather ride 6 miles to the store than not at all. Today's ride was 25 miles and temps never got above freezing. It was difficult but doable. When temps reach 40 it will seem like Spring.
Old Man Winter will not get the better of me.