Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hot Head

It recently occurred to me that my head is a body extremity. I typically think of my hands and feet as extremities, but my head also qualifies. The more I ride in the winter, the more I realize that if I keep my extremities warm and shielded from the wind, I don't need heavy layers around my core/torso as long as I'm wearing good wind-proof/ventable layers.

I currently manage my head warmth with a skull cap, single layer polar-tech fabric gaiter for my neck and face, and lightweight ear muffs. I always wear eye protection (cheap, wrap around safety goggles with clear lenses), so that's a non-issue for me. This combination allows me enough protection from the cold and wind to keep my head warm without getting sweaty. Keep in mind that my longest daily ride any one direction is at most 2.5 miles. When riding in pre-dawn low-teens temps on a windy morning, these layers are barely enough. Much greater distance and I think I'd need more for skin protection for my forehead, the bridge of my nose, and upper cheeks.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Winter Work

Haven't been riding much the last two to three weeks due to ugly, wet, cold weather and parenting responsibilities. Riding today was a reminder that

1) I lose aerobic conditioning quickly.
2) Riding on studded snow-tires is (gee) slow going even on clear pavement.
3) I ride into the wind both to work and to home due to shifting winds.

I got home in time to peel off some layers, change, then run to pick up my daughter from school. Glad I live only 2.5 miles from work and the ride isn't longer. That's my Gratitude Adjustment for the day.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Wetness and Growing

It's been one of the wettest months on record here in Michiana. I've worked on riding through light rains, but avoid riding on days when thunderstorms are forecast. Having once almost been blown into the path of a semi by a strong gust, I'm a little leery of Mother Nature these days.

B and I took the X to the library yesterday for a very last minute run to grab some DVDs for movie night. He's tall enough now that he his neck is clear of the back of the Peapod. Both he and I feel more comfortable with him riding on the back of the X again. A will continue to ride in the Peapod for at least another year or so until she can demonstrate more ability to be safe while riding. For that matter, I would love to try and make the Peapods foot rests detachable so it's easier to load things in to the FreeRadical bags, but I don't have the time for that right now.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Slick times

Faced another delay in riding this week following a back spasm Saturday night. Finally got back on the X this morning. Temp was around 25 F with 10 mph winds from the WSW. About 1" of light, fluffy snow fell during the night, covering everything with a nice blanket of white. The roads, however, were another story. Under the snow was quite a lot of slick patches of packed/frozen snow and melted/refrozen snow. I almost dumped twice in areas I normally have no difficulty negotiating. I am sure I'd have hit hard if not for the studded tires. Thankfully, the afternoon's ride found clear roads.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I managed to ride in yesterday - in snow, ice, 15 degree weather and 3 degree wind chill. Why? Because I pretty much had t0, given one car's in the shop and the other was needed to transport our daughter (still recovering from strep at the time) to care with Grandma. Ride in was a bit anxiety provoking as I hadn't ridden in 2.5 weeks. Ride home was fine. This morning, however, my legs were exhausted and my sense of balance was all off. I'm still pretty tired (lack of sleep doesn't help) and hope to get to sleep early tonight. Won't get to ride again until Saturday or Monday, when lows are to be in the single digits. Hmm....

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Stomach flu Round 2 for our daughter just put biking today on hold. Rats... Hopefully, the rest of the family will stay well.