The Joys of a Negative Degree ride…

I am a good cyclist and have ridden several thousand miles since August East Texas.  It got cold there… in the 20s once or twice.  Over the past month, as temperatures have fallen in Indianapolis, I have continued riding.  I did a short 7 mile ride yesterday (Jan 7, 2015) with temps in the 9-12* range.  Easey-peasey.  I’ve got this “cold” riding down…and was a cocky sucker.

This morning (Jan 8, 2015), the temperature was -4* (-24* windchill).  It was a perfect day for my first negative ride.  I am a fairly educated person, but those degrees do not make me smart.  -4*…what was i thinking?  Even the penguins and Polar Bears at the Indy Zoo are huddled around a fireplace inside a buildingcold.

I got dressed in my “cold” riding gear. I wear a long sleeve dry-wicking shirt, light windbreaker, neck protection, Keen waterproof boots, sunglasses, and $4 ski gloves bought at a local supply store.  This set up has worked quite well over the past few weeks..and yesterday, too.  I have been wearing socks and shoes lately… but especially today, It was -4* afterall.

My first clue that this was a BAD idea should have been when I saw ice on the porch door knob.  Can you imagine it being so cold that the cold does its radiation/convection/conduction voodoo (my degree is in Speech not Physics) and forms ice on the freaking inside of a building???  Somehow I missed that lecture in school…

Exhibit 2….we put that ice melt stuff on the front steps last night to prevent ice build up. This morning, I slipped down the stairs and into the neighbor’s yard.  Ice had formed on top of the ice melt stuff.  That’s right…it was cold enough that even the ice melt stuff did not work.  Apparently Coach Fox did not cover that in High School chemistry.

I could continue listing the clues as to why I should not ride…but I ignored all of them!!!  (See the above comment about NOT being smart!).  Out the door I went for a negative weather riding excursion.

As noted above, I slid down the steps into the neighbor’s snow-covered yard.  I only had one glove on at the time.  So, my right hand was cold now…and wet.  I shook my hand to get some blood circulating to warm it up…didn’t work.  I figured the glove would help. It did…for now.

So off I went.  I tried to shift gears… not happening. My stinking gear changer thing in the back was frozen from yesterday’s ride.  I was stuck in 3rd gear.  Not too bad, but I was going for a 10 mile jaunt and needed more speed than THAT gear could deliver unless I wanted to ride slow.  That should have told me to top and go back inside.  I ignored it as a minor detail and continued on…

About 4 blocks down the road, My hands begin to tingle. I shake them to increase blood flow. I am pretty sure the blood in my fingers is beginning to freeze as fire blows through my brain when I shake them.  Frost bite??? In 4 blocks???  This is a foreign concept to this kid from East Texas…. my hands have never hurt like this.  I tried to stop at the stop sign…my hands don’t work…????

My body was perfectly warm and cozy as I rode…my hands hated me!!!  I tried to tell them I was giving up and heading home.  They did not care.  They were NOT happy…and went on strike.  I finally made it home…and to the back door.  Freedom and warmth were just 2 feet away…yet, my hands hated me and could not open the door.  I somehow got the door open.

I took off the gloves; my hands were cherry red and swollen. I had ridden 1 MILE!!!  I admit defeat…for now.  I am not ready for COLD weather riding. I will ride tomorrow…it is supposed to be 10*.  I can handle 10…but no more Negative rides for me…I will sell out and drive the van!!!

One Response to “The Joys of a Negative Degree ride…”
  1. bribikes says:

    Good job for giving it a try, you are awesome, your gloves and gears just let you down.


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