Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Real Winter Cycling Experience

This morning when I went out to run with the Island Road Runners it was 15 degrees, calm and sunny. I decided that it would be a good day to cycle outdoors. The Husband went out and cleaned up my mountain bike, still crunchy from my last ride, lubed the chain, and I got ready. This is what I wear for outdoor cycling when it's 20 degrees (it warmed up 5 degrees while I was running): feet--smart wool socks, bike shoes and neoprene booties; below the waist--full length bike tights (with chamois) and gore tex pants; above the waist--full length sports bra (you guys can skip this layer if you like), long sleeved cool max shirt, hooded bike shirt all zipped up, fleece vest, lined cycling jacket; hands--full finger lined cycling gloves. If that sounds like a lot of clothes, you're right. but I was as comfortable as one can be cycling in the winter. What more can you ask? I also carried a bottle of sports recovery drink and a camel bak containing water (no ice this time), and my cell phone was in my pocket.

It was bright and cold and I started out heading south, into the wind. It was a great ride for the first 15 miles... by then I had completed one loop and was at the north end of the island. When I turned south, into the wind again, it had picked up dramatically. As I was struggling in the cold headwind trying to avoid the slush piles, daughter Erika drove by and gave a friendly wave. She probably could not see my grimace in her rear view mirror and may have even thought I was smiling... total outdoor mileage today: 23.5. After I got home a friend called to see if I still wanted to bike (I had called her earlier). Alas I had to decline, being fresh out of the shower, hair still wet. (sigh) I am a such a wimp...

High point of the ride: seeing the USCG Ice Breaker chugging down the Detroit River. Can spring be far behind? I only can hope.

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