Saturday, January 17, 2009

Chilly Ride, or How Fear is a Hardy Foe

After contemplating going for a bike ride for way longer then I should have, I finally geared up and headed out. (We are in Milton, MA for the weekend). The temperature is hovering somewhere in the 17-20 degree zone this afternoon and I was a little anxious about my toes staying warm. I've got the hands and body thing covered, but toes are a weak point. I haven't quite figured out the non-hiking boot solution yet. Hiking boots are fine, but they are bulky, heavy and have really thick soles.

The other hesitation was riding with my studded snow tires on. Since the streets were mostly free of snow and ice, I thought about switching them out for regular fair weather tires, but in the end just went with the studs. Its a pain in the neck to switch them.

I got to try out my new-to-me Carridice waxed cotton rain shell. The weather was sunny today, but when its cold, I wear a wind shell of some sort over a couple of layers of wool and I'm in good shape.

The lesson for me was: Don't be afraid of the cold. 

It felt great to be out on my bike. My toes started to get a little chilly towards the end of the ride, but it was no big deal in exchange for an opportunity to get out and move around and see some stuff. The studs probably slowed me down a bit, but not enough to notice, certainly not enough to bother with switching them out, and the rain/wind shell worked just great. Gotta dig that traditional English bike gear.

I used to commute year 'round when I lived in Boston and I rarely thought about the weather. I think that having the day-in-day-out experience of riding made hoping on my bike in any weather easy because it was just habit and not something I had to contemplate and wonder about getting right. 

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