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Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Lesson on Cold Weather Riding

But first, yes, week two still has me doing a park & ride, driving into Madison then parking some place free (re: not downtown!) and riding my bike from there.  I had Monday off (furlough day at the State) and gave a presentation to new superintendents on Wednesday away from the office, so obviously I didn't ride to work those days.  But, I did get rides in Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Tuesday was a short ride - about a mile each way, because I was running late and wanted to get as close as I could.  Thursday and Friday I parked 3.4 miles away and rode in.  It takes just 13-15 minutes each way, depending on lights, etc.  Nice ride.  This is working out great!  Depending on the timing, I may start parking 4.5 miles away.

Soon, I hope to ride all the way in.  Perhaps in the spring, when the weather is more cooperative.

Speaking of weather...

Today was a beautiful morning.  Sun shining and the air was crisp.  After running to the store quick, I decided to go for a ride.  So what if it was only about 15F out.  I layered up - four on top, three on the bottom, double gloved and double socked.

This is me after I got back - that's frost on the beard (it's not that white... yet).
I started out riding a 10.67 mi loop I rode previously.  About 1/2-way thru, I was feeling good. Feeling strong.  Lungs were doing great, so I turned left and made my ride a little longer.  It ended up being just over 15 miles all told.

A couple miles further down the road, my feet started to hurt.  I had thought that double-layering would be sufficient.  By the time I got back home, they were really cold.  (Did I mention it was only about 15F out when I rode?)  I was actually worried about frost bite.  I shed my shoes and socks and wrapped my feet in a blanket and sat on them.  I don't recall ever having my feet be that cold before.  Not even the day in January 1986 when I sat in Soldier Field during a Bears' playoff game.

Turns out, it may have not been a good idea to double-sock.  My cycling shoe was fitted with one sock on.  I may have reduced circulation to my feet, compounding the problem rather than impriving it. 

So, what's to do about it?  Two things: wool socks and shoe covers.  Proper equipment goes a loooonnnnngggg way.  Now, I gotta get it. #bikeschool lesson of the week.

Other than the problem w/ the feet, it was a great ride.

1 comment:

  1. I've learned that one the hard way too Bob! Always wear my thick neoprene booties if it's under 20 out. Happy riding!