Saturday, January 13

Nice people

I've had quite a string of asshole days lately but today the ones who stood out from indifferent were nice. I'm sure they were suprised to see someone out riding a bike. Nevertheless I got a few smiles and waves from passing motorists, "Hi's" from runners and walkers and even a few people who paused on the snowpacked one way streets to let me continue rolling along. The high temperature was maybe 9 degrees during my 4 hour ride but that was in the sun. The shady spots were darn chilly as the sun went down. By WCRS standards it would have been 290 points. I didn't let that deter me though and I logged 46.5 miles and 3200 vertical feet of elevation gain. In order to get that number however I had to bury my GPS under all my clothes because the temperatures did a number on the batteries if exposed to the air!Along with my freezing GPS, the water bottles also froze. I filled them both with near boiling water at the start of the ride. The uninsulated one made it just over an hour before being completely rock hard but the insulated one was drinkable most of the ride until the last few fast downhills. Of course on the last few fast downhills almost everything froze. I kept my nose covered with my balaclava or hand but I definitely need a better solution. My nose went numb one time (after descending the Wall) but quick heating with my breathe and my glove and it got better.My feet also continue to be an area in need of improvement. I can keep them dry and warm for a while but I'm pretty sure that eventually conduction through the metal cleat and screws into my sole are sucking the heat away faster than my body can pump it down there. It's tolerable at the moment but I need to try those aerogel insoles and see if they fix it. That's not to say the ride was bad though, merely lots of fun with some learning experiences interspersed. I added an extra fleece layer on top a la Jill and my core was plenty warm today. Plus the roads were in great shape and the little dirt road Dave and I hit up last weekend was amazing.Monocog just keeps on trucking. I've got a nice long tribute underway but I'll save it for another day. Mile after mile in nasty weather and mag chlorided streets but the SS never stops and never complains. I'd hate to see what the Fuel looked like after this type of punishment.

Tomorrow is one more big day of riding. Looks like I won't quite hit 400 miles this week but I should be solidly in the 300's. Plus I'm going to swing by Bent Gate Mountaineering since they have the winter sleeping bag I want. Sorry Neptune, you guys never called so I guess I'll just take my business elsewhere.Looks warm eh?


Jill said...

I read somewhere once that boiling water freezes faster than room-temperature water. Something about molecules speeding up. I'm not really sure if it was an old-wives' tale, or if it's true.

Congrats on the 300+ - mile week. That's really impressive.

Cellarrat said...

Looks semi warm ;)

I Rode every day this week. even with my very poor Saturday I've got 215 for the week!

Dave said...

You guys kick ass. You inspire me to be less lazy.

Single digits, cycling, is hard on the feet. Curiak has a rig with a Sorel liner in oversize Lake winter shoes, which I think is the only long term solution for that kind of cold. Maybe a mountaineering boot liner would be the ultimate rig for Iditabike type riding.

Which WMtneering bag? We've got a 5 and 35 degree, non-fancy shell (their microfiber is great) and have been totally impressed, very conservative temp ratings.

Dave said...

Also, damn Dave, when do you sleep?!

Dave Byers said...

Chris, try some flat pedals for one ride. The cleats are a big source of heat loss. If you get some flat pedals with the little screw in spikes and use boots with a tread your feet will stay put!

Chris said...

I've tried flat pedals when they came on the Pugsley but I really really don't want to give up my Time pedals. Plus I don't have any really great boots anyway so if I'm going to spend money, I'd rather make my idea setup work.

I've read some about MikeC's setup but he's got it pretty dialed and doesn't ever share *all* the details. He also mentioned it's nearly 100% waterproof up to his waist for overflow ice/water. Big shoes are next on the list of things to try after the aerogel insoles. Problem is that I wear a size 46/47 euro already so I'm going to need some BIG shoes to fit liners etc inside.

The sleeping bag is a Western Mountaineering Big Horn Super MF. It's a -25 F bag, 3 lbs 7 ounces with 38 ounces of down. It's rediculously expensive but if I'm ever going to AH135 or the other cold weather races, this is the one I'm taking. Between conservative ratings, extra clothes and the fact I've taken a 15 deg bag down to -5, this should be the coldest weather bag I'll ever need.

Dave said...

Hey Chris, I've serendipitously found a loose neck gaitor, an inch in front of my neoprene mask kept the wind off my face like a half fairing. Creates some sort of weird micro-climate. Took it to -40 when I lived in Montana, worked last year here in the midwest to about -10 but it more humid here so the latent heat makes it seem colder. We can get sub zero temps and fog (100% humidity) I'm also a believer in the big shoe but I cheat and use heat packs over the cleat area. Get about 4 hrs in negative digits but you need to make sure you got enough dead air space to keep them activated.

Dave Pals