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The Winter Rides Start

by on November 6, 2012

For me, winter riding begins when the temperatures fall below freezing.  This morning fit the bill.

My thermometer is on a protected porch and it read 33° F.  The one weather station nearest our route read 31° F.  My Garmin recorded 25° F (but I’ve determined it reads about 5° low).  That’s close enough for me in most instances, but because today was the designation for the start of winter riding … I conducted another test.  The water in my water bottle read 32.2° F at the end of the ride.  That reading works for me.  We are now into winter riding.  Any colder and there will be ice in the water bottle by the end of the ride.

We were quite lucky that the trail had dried out.  None of the leaves were wet and frozen, so there really was only fallen leaves as a hazard on the route.  Last night, Dan emailed warning us that it would be cold and challenging all riders to “harden up”.  We started out with 4 riders at the Rusty Bridge but soon added 4 more for 8 crazy souls on bikes before sunrise.  With the end of Daylight Saving Time, we get to watch the sun come up again for a couple of weeks.  By November 25th, the sunrise is after the end of our ride.

I tried a new pair of gloves this morning.  I bought them last spring, at the end of the winter riding.  They served me well, keeping my hands toasty warm.  Unfortunately, with new gloves comes a new entry to the clothing chart and I’ll have to experiment to see just how cold it can be before these gloves are not sufficient.  Much warmer than this morning and these gloves will be too warm.  A review will follow once I determine the proper temperature range for me.

Winter riding is all about proper clothing layers and ventilation.  Yes, ventilation is essential.  If the clothing doesn’t breathe, the sweat builds up and makes one cold.  After a few more rides with my Showers Pass jacket, watch for a review.  I’m experimenting with temperature ranges on it also (although it is primarily a rain jacket).

I’m anxious for winter riding to begin.  It always proves to be quite interesting.

Looking ahead for the rest of the week I’m anticipating a cold ride tomorrow morning.  We may be at the tail end of a Nor’easter on Thursday morning.  Friday I don’t think I can ride because I’m expected to be at an overnight meeting out of town.  Saturday is Flatbread, a 200k Brevet that I hope works for me to ride.  There is a pastoral care need on the horizon that may take me out of one of the most popular rides of the year.  At least 65 people have preregistered for Flatbread.

This Ride: 21.7 miles
Month: 72.7 miles
2012: 5,048 miles
Total since 1/1/2010: 18,901.7 miles

From → Cycling

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