Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A Bout of Winter: If It Can Go Wrong...

…it will go wrong when it’s most important for things to go right.

On bike temperature: 9 (-7 windchill)
Wind: WNW 21

What to Wear

Feet: normal socks, wool socks, shoes, neoprene booties. This won’t work for rides much colder than this one. The next level of warmth will come by replacing clipless pedals with platforms and wearing actual snow boots.

Legs: padded briefs, poly tights, neoprene tights. I can probably go a few degrees colder.

Torso: thermal undershirt, thermal jersey, neoprene jacket. This could work for another 10 degrees, maybe more.

Hands: windproof liners, windproof fleece. This could work for another 10 degrees.

Head: balaclava, helmet, sunglasses. Eyewear is an issue because it’s the only exposed skin. Ski goggles have been recommended to me but I’m not ready to do that. I found the balaclava comes with some vision limitations.

What Happened

Sunglasses aren’t going to work at this temperature. They fog too easily. Remove from face and fold around messenger bag chest strap for storage. (Note: foreshadowing)

Altered placement for rear blinky, to accommodate newly installed rear fender, interferes with legs. Will adjust later.

Newly installed very cold plastic front fender breaks on first bump that fully compresses the front suspension.

As I turn to face the longest stretch into the wind the chest strap of the messenger bag comes out of the buckle. I choose to push on and adapt to the new lack of bagular stability. (Note: poor decision)

Come to realization that sunglasses got tossed when the bag strap detached. Turn around and ride back (with the wind, ahhh) to find them. Thankfully I hadn’t run over them.

Arrive at work to find newly configured bike with studded tires and fenders exceeds maximum cable lock functionality.

Change clothes and enter building possibly the only sweaty person in the city.

Next Up

The ride home is going to be very cool, erm, nice. Less wind, and a few more degrees could feel tropical. And it’s going to be post sunset. Bike lights dancing on white snow. I think I’ll ride what passes for urban singletrack tonight to make it even more special.

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