Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I keep trying to find this out, in reference to whether it will be possible to ride my bike outdoors. I'm somewhat behind where I'd like to be in training because it's been "too cold." We had a thaw in February, with a couple days in the upper 50'sF, and I was ecstatic, looked forward to it all week, dismounted my bike from my indoor trainer, and did 25 miles. Next week I needed 35, but when it was time for that, we were only going to make barely 50*, but I thought, well, with an extra sweater... let's try. Thirty-five miles in the bag. Temps have just plain deteriorated from there. The day of my 40-miler, we were only going to make 47*. Well, 47*, 50*, there's not that much difference. It was windy and I was chilly and took a really hilly route, but made 37.5 miles. I could have done the extra 2.5 but that meant riding past my house, and I was cold and tired and the temptation was too great. About 10 days ago I made 50 miles, temps in the mid-40's. And it's been dropping from there. No relief from daytime highs in the 30's for close to a week now. Having tasted the open road, I'm averse to mounting the bike back on the trainer. But 30's? I can't bike when it's in the 30's!! Except today I did. Two pairs of tights, two sweaters, a wind jacket, thick wool socks, fleece neck gaiter convertible to lower-face mask, fleece hat under my helmet, full gloves under my bike gloves. I was overdressed. Long hills were hard, not because I was tired but because I was hot. Sweat dripped down my back. But my feet still got cold. Have to work on that one. So now I know I can bike when it's 35*F. No "It's too cold" excuses left, since I don't expect any more days in the 20's. Hopefully. Sunday is supposed to be around 50*F with 0% precip chance. I need a 60-miler, starting after church. So glad daylight saving time was early, even if spring hasn't been!


Angie said...

Temps are low everywhere. I'm itching to get out and put in some miles on the running trails, but not with this cold weather! Soon it'll be too hot for us both, I'm sure!

Phil B said...

It can be done. Many of us up here in Alaska bike year round. I commute to work every day in temps well below zero. The key is to experiment on shorter rides to get your kit just right. Remember: When you start out, you will and should feel cold. If you feel warm when you are just heading out, you are over dressed. Also, layers are vital - be ready and able to remove a layer or two as you warm up. Wear multiple pairs of gloves and socks, experiment, and you can do it.