With the holidays and cold weather upon us, my bike mileage has been low low low the past few weeks. I purposefully avoid falling into the mileage trap because I consider myself a utility/urban cyclist and as such I’m not training for a century or anything like that. If I start setting myself mileage goals then it becomes a chore and I just want cycling to be fun.
I’ve been feeling the itch to get on the bike but with the forecast this week being so cold, I was debating on whether or not I was going to ride the bike into work on Tuesday (I telecommute on Mondays). When I saw the guys at Green Fleet Bicycle Shop tweet this, I knew I had to ride:
10 degrees and Marie is still commuting by bike! http://t.co/lmVDhK6md7
— Green Fleet Bikes (@greenfleet) January 6, 2014
Feeling highly motivated and a little on the crazy side after checking the temp (it was 3 degrees!), I put on nearly every bit of my cycling clothes and some of my hiking clothes, carried my bike up the stairs and set off to work!
I wasn’t really worried about the cold honestly. I was much more worried about hitting a patch of ice with my front wheel and crashing. Most of the route was pretty good. There was only a small section in the bike lane near our apartment and I was able to just ride in the road to avoid all of it.
My pace was slower than normal as I was being careful in regards to ice patches. Additionally, all the dang clothes I was wearing plus my work bag and my lunch box felt like I was pulling a semi trailer.
My clothing setup was pretty good except for my feet which felt like they almost froze off. I have a new pair of Gore-Tex hiking boots and I wore the thickest wool socks I own. After chatting a little on Twitter with another winter cyclist, I think the problem is that my core isn’t warm enough so my body is reducing circulation to extremities thus, cold feet. I’ll make the necessary adjustments and try again.
Honestly, riding when it’s that cold isn’t really all that fun or interesting and it’s a little scary with the possibility of slipping on ice. So in the future, I might give myself an out when it’s in the single digits.