Wednesday, December 10, 2008


9°F (-13°C) upon departure this morning, with wind chills down to -3°F -- of course I spent most of my time riding WITH the wind not into it on the way to the bus. Furthermore, wind chill only applies to directly-exposed skin, of which there was NONE this morning. I had my goggles on, as always when the ambient temperature is 10°F or below.

I marinated the moving bits of my briny bike with more tri-flow last night after wiping it down and letting it come to room temperature, which seems to have done the trick as far as keeping things nice, shiny and smooth. Last year, there was one chain that only lasted about 200 miles because I didn't keep it adequately protected. I've only put about 90 miles on this bike since I threw it together a few weeks ago. So far, it's staying healthy. The salty slush is a killer, and I'm probably going to put a lot more preventive maintenance into it this winter than I did last season, as I no longer have a backup bike that's suitable for snow duty.

Although the solstice is more than a week away, it may very well be time to break out the Winter Edition Logo. Last year, I broke it out on December 12th. Close enough.

Random Tunage:
Nine Inch Nails - Discipline
Amber - Anyway (Steve Porter Mix)


Anonymous said...

Man, I admire your determination to ride on days like yesterday.

Where you had snow yesterday, we had freezing rain. I drove rather than rode. I was planning to tough it out and ride this morning, but found out late last night that a hospital visit was going to be in order over lunch, so I drove to work instead.

Jason said...

I chickened out and used my legs to get to the bus. :) I don't know about this snow/ice. I'll set back and wait until the next snow. :) Baby steps... Baby steps!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Noah, what kind of goggles do you use? Someone recently told me to try swim goggles. We have some ski goggles but they all interfere with my helmet, they are just too big. My eyes get so dry in this cold weather, I'm going to have to do something different.

Noah said...

Tracy: Hope all's well. I know what it's like to have visits to the hospital! :(

Jason: You pretty much need treaded tires for the re-frozen slush that happens this time of year. Some may disagree, but it helps. If you have a mountain bike, try hitting Shawnee Mission Park when it's cold enough to stay frozen. It's a blast!

Shirley: I'm using some cheap UVEX ski goggs I got back in the early 90s for my first ski trip. They butt right up against my helmet, and I can't easily wear my mirror with the goggs on. I'll snap a photo this afternoon if I think of it. If I had a full-face helmet I'd probably look like some kind of character from Halo.

Anonymous said...

No riding in the snow for me. This n00b doesn't have that much heart. Like the updated logo!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Noah, I thought I might make a trip to the sporting goods store this weekend for some smaller goggles. I just need to take my helmet along for fit. I already scare people with the balaclava & glasses...they'll find me extra scary with goggles.

Apertome said...

Yeesh, that's uber cold! Our weather has been fluctuating like mad here -- but nothing that cold yet.

David Glandon said...

Hey Noah thanks for the post. It saves me an email to you. Instead of goggles I have been using my sunglasses that cover most of my face. You can see my newest photo to see the sunglasses. They work well at blocking the wind and cold but they fog up really bad. I will pick up goggles when I can afford it but in the mean time do you know of anything that I can apply on the sunglasses to keep the fogging at bay? Keep warm and safe.

Noah said...

Well, ski goggles don't fog as easily (they still fog some, if the conditions are right) because there are two layers of polycarbonate lenses. The outer layer gets cold. The inner layer gets moist (from your skin and eyes) but usually stays warm enough to keep from fogging.

You might try Rain-X anti-fog from the auto parts store. You apply it to the inside of the glass. I don't know how well it works on polycarbonate lenses, but it works quite well on auto glass, so your mileage may vary.

Anonymous said...

Could a hockey helmet also double as a bike helmet? Nice big visor up front with lots of visibility.

So maybe not financially viable. How about a clear see-through visor attachment for a bike helmet?

Noah said...

Hockey, bicycling, construction, motorcycling and baseball all subject you to different kinds of forces and as such, different head protective gear is rated for different activities.

I'd imagine a hockey helmet or construction hard hat would be better at protecting you than no helmet at all, I wouldn't recommend it any more than I'd recommend using a bicycle helmet on a motorcycle or while doing construction work.

I'd imagine that one of those clear face shields that chem lab techs and ER staff use (when things are about to get really messy) might also work to keep the wind and precip off your face. It all boils down to what you're comfortable with, though. If these goggles broke, I'd probably be on my way to Sports Authority to replace them with a new pair the first time I saw single digits in the forecast on a weekday.

That's one great thing about bike commuting. Without any real "standard" or "rules" you can borrow equipment, techniques, and ideas from other sports (even non-cycling ones) to solve your problems and no one really looks weird at you for it.

They won't say: "Wow. That guy is wearing dorky ski goggles and baggy pants on a bike." They'll say "Wow. That guy's riding a bike. What a dork!" or at least that's what they say about me.

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