Thursday, December 3

Snow!

Things have been going well with recovery but it's not all roses every day. After hitting PT and working out hard for a couple days in a row my body demands some rest. I oblige but mentally it's tough since I'm used to stacking days easily. With the Arrowhead and Iditarod plus ice climbing season coming regardless of what I do, I want to be ready! Still I can't be ready if I'm injured so I continue to listen closely to my bodies desires. It's a fine line to be sure but to be where I'm at after only 8 weeks on a very bad break I'm pleased.

Yesterday was a big breakthrough day at least. In the AM I was able to increase my reps on all my PT exercises and finally was able to stand on one foot! By the evening I could balance for over 30 seconds. Some ROM stuff is still impeding totally normal walking, especially down stairs and up hills, so I'm hoping "real" PT tomorrow will help with that. I've ditched the cane however and the calf strength is coming back more and more every day.
Yesterday afternoon, the snow was falling lightly and I headed out for a few hours of riding and systems testing (15 deg temps, light winds and clouds) My Fatback isn't here yet so I took the Selma. Nanos aren't bad snow tires as long as we're only talking a few inches and the ride was awesome. It's so easy to forget the fun of snow biking at the initial cold snap every year but 20 minutes into the ride I was grinning from ear to ear and loving the slow churn of snow biking speeds (ha!). I was even able to clean every hill with careful SS weight distribution and my increasing left leg power. The PT has really been strengthening my ankle support muscles and now my left foot isn't greasing to the outside when standing up.
The gearing was 32x20 and that was great at 6-7 mph average unloaded. I'm thinking the 30x20 or 30x22 is going to end up the sweet spot on the loaded Fatbike but we'll see when it gets here and I load it down. I'm stoked for it to arrive and then my new Epic Designs bags and maybe a Larry up front! The RU Outside boots arrived but I decided the 13's weren't quite big enough so I sent them right back to swap for the 14's. I'll post pictures when they "rearrive" next week and I get started on the clipless inserts.
Clothing is still a question mark. I know I can stay warm, the key is just doing it with a nice combination of pieces that adapt to temps from 40 F to -40 F. I've lost all my post Divide food monster weight and it will take an extra layer at times to keep my body warm now. Of course that will also get better with cold adaptation but I'm not there yet for this winter. For the first time in 10 years I'll be playing with different layers on my legs though my top layers are fairly dialed (base, R1 hoody, LS jersey, softshell, puffy) minus playing with a few styles and fabric weights. I'm curious if the goatee is worth anything in the warmth department or if I should just shave it and not worry about the ice beard factor.
I also tested food for another Fatbike Friday post and that part was awesome too! :) Today I'm filling out applications and writing from bed while my ankle ices and rests. The swelling, while not painful at all, is still pervasive and mentally disconcerting at the least so I'm trying to keep it under control.

Tonight the low is supposed to be close to a record and in the -2F range so I'll be bivying on the deck or in a secret spot to test more gear. I might have to get the walkie talkies out again so Marni can check to make sure I'm still alive all night, haha.

6 comments:

Ed said...

A thick goatee will help some but why not grow a full beard? In the past when I've shaved off my beard I've been surprised at how warm it kept me - it helps a lot.

Ed

Chris said...

Sadly Ed I cannot grow a beard. The goatee barely comes in without being embarrassing ;)

Simmons said...

I have the same baby face beard problem :) Have fun sleeping outside! I'll be doing the same on Saturday.

Cellarrat said...

Snotcilces are fun in the cold...

Glad to see your riding some!

Butterpoweredbike said...

Hi, I just discovered your blog. I live in the same area. I'm a noob, just took up the wheels this year. Yesterday was my first experience riding in temps that cold. But aside from cold fingers, the ride was sweet. For someone as klutzy as me, fresh snow is much nicer than the mudbaths of the last few weeks.

Jsun said...

The icicles may look cool but they really hurt when you smile. Although I have a beard at the moment, a face mask is my prefered choice.