Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Coldest commute yet

Unlike Doug, I'm not a winter commuter. I'm trying though and today was a real test. Radio alarm goes off and I immediately hear "and currently, it's minus four outside."


Well, if you're gonna ride every day, you ride every day. So, I did and I'm glad. Nothing was cold except my big toe on my right foot (that's where I had tendon surgery a couple of years ago and it's never been much for the cold since), so I think I've got the clothing part right 'cept for the undershirt. This includes (taking a hint from Pete)
  • Columbia under helmet hat with ear flaps. It's fleece with a windproof shell -- light and warm
  • Fleece pants with windproof pants
  • Fleece top with long-sleeved cotton t-shirt (dumb, I know, I know)
  • Novara bicycling rain jacket
  • Merino wool socks and Mukluks (short Ojibwa)

I don't have a balaclava since my beard works well and it's a lot of fun after a couple of minutes. It becomes completely frosted from my breath and turns white and people give me quite a look when I ride past. Ol' Man Winter, indeed...

Mrs and I went for a ride yesterday and she found out the beauty of studded tires, so now I need to get a pair for her. I knew that, but she had to make the call and after see the night and day difference, she called loud and clear. Time to pick up another pair.

The bike is really stiff to ride when it's this cold. I need to find a better lube (or maybe just use the stuff I have) so that things turn better and I'm not fighting the bearings and chain besides the snow, ice and traffic.


Jamie said...

Great work on getting out there and giving it a try! The looks are truly priceless, aren't they?

Definitely look into some new lube. There are cold-to-freezing-your-tuckus-off lubes that work really well.

Pete said...

-4? If you weren't before, you are a winter commuter now!

Fritz said...

Hurray for you, Yam! Hurray also to your wife. You all rock.

I met a couple of guys from the Twin Cities today on my commute home. They flew from MSP to San Francisco and hopped on Caltrain to get to a friend's home in the area. They told me it was minus something when they left and loved the 50-something temps we have right now.

They think they're driving to Tahoe for snowboarding tomorrow, but the forecast calls for blizzard conditions and hurricane force winds in the Sierras.