I took one look at the TV weather and said to myself “I’m NOT going out in THAT!” Call me a sissy, but I decided to waited until 10:00 for my bike ride when it would be a few degrees warmer. Plus, the wind had reduced somewhat from the overnight windchill of more than 50 -degrees below zero. I tried to think of a way to describe how cold that is to our friends in Australia who are suffering their own weather extremes. I came up with this: In the late part of a 44-degree (C) afternoon, place your bare hand on the black asphalt. That might be the same sensation as the freezing burn you’d feel while touching the steel frame of your bike at -27 (F).
It’s all good in the biking world. Polar Vortex, Schmolar Schmortex! I could not wait to get out there and ride in the coldest air we’ve had in 20 years. All it took was two pairs of heavy socks, boots, long underwear, snow pants, T-shirt, thermal undershirt, hooded sweatshirt, down jacket, mitten liners, mittens, wool cap, and two hoods. No problem.
I have a few things to say about the video you’ll see below. 1) My voice is kind of strange, but not as strange as it might sound on the video. It was muffled by the down-filled flap over my face. 2) I had to take my right mitten off to start the video. My phone can’t be activated by a covered finger. 3) Frostbite can set in at these temperatures in less than 10 minutes. 4) Seriously cold fingers can occur in less than the ten seconds it takes to press the “start video” button. 5) You’ll notice the video ran a little longer than I intended because I had trouble taking off my mitten, pulling over, and turning it off.
I think I made it two miles, but I’m not sure. I don’t know how my Santa Rosa compatriot does it on those really cold days in which he wears much less clothing than I did today. A true tough guy I guess.