Monday, December 15, 2008

It goes to eleven

Full commute (14.5 miles) on The Goat. Temperature on departure: 11°F. Temperature on arrival: 9°F. I've ridden below zero a few times, but only to the bus. 16°F on the morning of November 21 was my previous record cold temperature for the full commute. I guess cDude was right about records being broken. I don't think this is the last one for me, either, as winter hasn't technically even started yet and I'd consider these temps to be pretty brutal. We don't usually get stuff like this until January and February. Just imagine what things will be like in a month!

I wore less layers than I had on this morning, but still had some clothing problems. At the half-way point (the I-635 overpass), I had to stop and re-evaluate things. I'd unzipped my ski coat a way back, but my back and arms were still burning up. Meanwhile, my chest was unsurprisingly numb and frigid. My hands were sweaty, too. The goggles stay clear when I'm moving, thanks to the ventilation. When I stop, though, they fog up. I took them off, removed my gloves, and took a break to warm up what needed warming up, and to air out what was getting sweaty.

I had been going at my usual work effort, and obviously this wasn't working. After about 5 minutes, I was ready to continue on my way. Fully zipped up, I opted for a slower pace, which worked quite well for the rest of the trip. It took me a lot longer to get home than I'd expected.

Merriam Marketplace

Frozen waterfall. I've taken pictures of it before. Never when frozen, though.

I said it took longer than I'd expected to get home. It was getting dark. The path before me contained pretty much every kind of track possible. Rabbit, shoe, dog, and even some deer tracks.

The only thing missing? Bike tracks. Much better.

When I got home, I checked the mail. Some junk mail for new car insurance contained this. It's a real bumper sticker. I'm cutting the bottom blue part off and installing it on my bike post haste.


Anonymous said...

Commuting in Calgary this week is a challenge. The trick is to not dress too warmly. Riding temperatures are -20 to -35 degress Celcius (about -10 to -30 farenheit). Yes minus. My clothing secret...a one piece snowmobile suit. It works so well that more than 2 or 3 layers of clothing results in overheating. Now if only there wasn't a half foot of new snow and 2 inches of solid ice underneath my wheels.

Noah said...

I've got it easy compared to people like you, Doug and many others in colder climes. No one believes me when I tell them I'm burning up, until I roll up my sleeves and prove it.

Chuong Doan said...

Man you guys are kickin my butt. +22F has been my low so far.

I guess its time to cowboy up.

Scott Redd said...

Minus five degrees Fahrenheit this morning in Omaha (-20 C). A layer of nine on the top. Sounds bulky, but it wasn't. Like you, Noah, I have to pace myself so I don't overheat on my relatively short five mile commute (not that I'm that fast to begin with). Only my feet were cold.

Here's my story.

Tomorrow looks like zero degrees F, but with the snow starting around commute time. My studs are worn in now, but I've yet to try them on the slick stuff.

Way to keep biking the commute, Noah.

Apertome said...

Geez man, that is freaking COLD! Way to go!

amidnightrider said...

I have to agree with the one piece winter suit. I have two from my days working outside with the phone company. They are more than enough to fend off the winter weather. I did realize however that mine are not good for biking. Much too bulky.

I prefer a couple of light layers and like you, I have occasionally overdressed and actually perspired while riding in sub freezing weather. That's very uncomfortable, as you well know.

Bobby D. said...

I fail......
I have been driving to work :-(
I am holding off until after the Christmas holiday to start back up.
Keep up the good job!!!!!

Bobby D.

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