15-16 February, 2006 Temperature: 7 degrees F (-14°C)
Sorry I didn’t update yesterday, but sometimes life in meatspace intrudes.
Yesterday’s ride was cold. The seven degrees temperature felt more like minus seven, for some reason. It couldn’t have been humidity, because all the weather wallahs tell us our atmosphere is very dry right now. Perhaps it was just fatigue, as I didn’t get enough sleep the previous night. But the little spot of frostbite on the end of my nose indicates that it is time to investigate better helmet sealing.
When we were riding on Shephard Road yesterday, a jet of icy-cold air was blasting in under my facemask and super-cooling the tip of my nose where it rubs against the rubber. When I shifted the helmet to stop that, the sub-arctic jet slashed into my left eye, which teared up, and then the tears froze, blinding me. So I decided to take it on the nose after all. We were running late, so I coudn’t afford the time it would take to stop for coffee and a wardrobe adjustment. That was my thinking at the time, anyway. I probably should have stopped.
By the time we arrived at work, the inside of my visor was frosted from the left side, almost to the center, and my nose had a raw, red spot right on the tip. My legs were also frozen to the point where I swear I could feel the titanium screws in my right knee. I had elected to wear the lighter rain pants instead of the leather snowmobile bibs. All that warmer weather we’ve been having spoiled me, I guess.
At least the roads were dry in most places. Here’s an amusing vignette from my freezing rain ride on Tuesday:
Riding up Bernard Street, I noticed a flash of movement out of the corner of my eye. In the yard of the house on my right, a cottontail rabbit was running alongside of the Baron and I. He was keeping right up with us in the snow, and seemed to be trying to get ahead of us to cross the road. We slowed down a bit to give him a chance, and he darted left onto the icy road in front of us.
The moment his little paws hit the road surface, he went ass-over-teakettle, spinning and flailing his furry little limbs all over the street. When I close my eyes, even now, I see the image of his fluffy white bottom sticking up while his nose slid along the ice, all frozen in the Baron’s headlights. I was squeezing the rear brake gently, and we missed running him over by no more than the length of a whisker. I’m sure he made the crossing alright, but it illustrated just how little traction we had out there.
Apparently, Mr. Bunny Rabbit was not running ice screws or studs in his paws.
So now, the Wizards of the Windsock and Crystal Ball Guild are telling us that we are in for a big snowstorm, and days of frigid arctic weather. It’s supposed to be a cold, crisp weekend. Probably a good time to get some stuff done around the house, and I still have that article for “Scoot! Quarterly” to write. If it really gets down to -14°F on Friday night, I might have to go for a midnight ride. That will be the coldest temperature to date, and I’ve been wanting to set a good benchmark for the fellows in the Cold Weather Challenge.
Today’s ride was easy. Only five degrees warmer than yesterday, but that made a huge difference. It’s supposed to start snowing any time now, and I’m sure I’ll be riding through flurries on the way home. Hey, this is what it’s all about. I’m dressed for it today, having chosen the more restrictive - but - warmer garb this morning.
Well, my “blunch” (blogger’s lunch) is over, and I’ve got to get back to work. More tomorrow night…