12 January 2010

Lake Loop Permanent -- Frozen edition: Hardening our Character

Last week as I was mulling over trying to squeeze in my R-12 ride for January, I found inspiration in the words of Stijn Devolder in a recent CyclingNews.com article. Stijn seem puzzled as to why his teammates were flocking to warmer weather in Spain -- he certainly felt there was nothing wrong with the current weather in Belgium. My favorite quote is:
"It is not so cold that you freeze on to your bike," he said. “You go from a temperature of zero (Celsius) to minus one and you're not dead; It hardens your character.”
Yeah, nobody should be surprised when Stijn kicks a little ass in the spring classics this year.

The forecast for Sunday was calling for lows in the upper teens and highs in the mid 30's (F). Honestly, I wasn't really looking forward to spending all day on the bike in these conditions. Regardless, I put a shout out on our local rando list and pals, Geof, Rob & Mary signed on.

As we prepared to roll out from start, Geof's thermometer was reading 19 degrees (F) -- I suspect we reached the mid 30's by the afternoon, though it seemed a bit cooler up in Virginia.

Unfortunately, we didn't take too many photos throughout the day -- working a tiny digital camera with 3 pair of gloves on is an exercise in frustration.

The cold weather, clothing and frozen bottles were the talk of the day. We had some good laughs over trying to squeeze water out of frozen bottles -- Mary resorted to microwaving her bottles at the controls to soften them up!

Overall, it turned out to be a great day on the bike, sure it was cold, but the sunny blue skies helped make things feel better. I was wearing more wool than a sheep and there was only one instance where I was truly freezing and very uncomfortable. As we rolled out of the first control, I experienced extremely cold hands -- can't move the fingers kind of cold. I stopped and added a pair of nylon lobster-mitt shells. That did the trick -- only thing I can figure was my gloves were wet with perspiration and just sucked the heat away from my hands -- the shells stopped the wind and slowed the thermal transfer.

1 comment:

Biker Bob said...

So 3 of you did stick it out - congratulations. When I read that Branson decided not to go I wasn't sure if anyone would ride. One of those arctic adventures was enough for me for a while (Jan 2 Salisbury).