Monday, November 29, 2010

Feels Like 12 Degrees...

Man, I almost wish I wouldn't have just looked at  Dang.  I'm about to pedal home and it's about 7:15pm.  Freaking cold and windy as hell out.  Wish me luck. 


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Freaking Cold Commute!!

Today I was cold.  And slightly unhappy about it.  Ok, I'd even say pretty unhappy about it.

We (Copper and I) left our house around 9 this morning and headed down towards the shop to start our day.  I had a slightly better layering system figured out today and the only parts of me that were angrily cold were my toes and my face/ears.  So this is how it worked:  thermal cycling tights under my jeans, not thick enough socks, winter riding boots, a thermal base layer, a fleece, and then my yellow wind/water proof jacket.  I did have a stocking hat on again but it didn't really cover the bottom of my ears sufficiently which was terrible.  My fingers were fine with my lobster claw mitten/gloves which I love.

I usually hope to hit all the green lights on the way down but today realized that when I was stopped at a red light in traffic, I was grateful for the heat that the cars were producing.  Also, stopped at a light means not as much wind in your face which was great. I hoped for streets with sunshine and not towering buildings in the way and thought about how opposite my route choosing is from the dead heat of July when I'll take a slightly out of the norm route to find shade amongst the buildings downtown.  Ah winter riding.  I'm not scared, just slightly shaken.  I'll be back tomorrow. With thicker socks, a balaclava, and a some frozen snot.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Drizzly Bike Pooling this Morning!

Thanks Natalie!! Yesterday we decided to ride in to work together today.  Natalie is a dedicated Saturday Morning Ladies Rider and we have talked several times about commuting and how doable it is from our neck of the woods.  So, this morning despite the cold temps and wet pavement we braved the commute and pedaled down together!  I like the idea of riding with someone, especially when it's the first time on the route for the newbie commuter.  I think she had fun and didn't even get to sloppy in the process!
One thing that Natalie said as we were about to part ways on 13th and Harney was something that I think is worth passing along. She decided that if she can commute with a smile on her face when it's cold and wet out, any day is doable! So, for those of you who've been thinking about commuting, now is the time! Layers and patience is all you need. According to it feels like it's 23 degrees out right now. I don't know if I'd say it's that cold, but if it makes us sound that much more bad-A, I'll go with it. I was pretty comfortable in my gear which consisted of big heavy socks, winter riding boots, jeans (my legs got a big cold, think I'll layer with riding tights underneath tomorrow), a t-shirt (which is always a horrible first layer...stay away from cotton), then a synthetic base layer mock turtle neck, and then a wool jersey, a wool scarf, and then a bright yellow rain/wind proof jacket, a stocking cap, and of course helmet!

Necessary items for commuting on a day like today: a good attitude, layers, patience, fenders, a dog, and a friend!

Thanks again Natalie. Any time you want to ride, let me know! And, anyone who wants to ride from 50th(ish) and Center, let me know and we can Bike-Pool down together!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Vern Has Fenders!

Well folks, it's that time of year again.  Fender season.  This sloppy slush that dropped from the sky last night prompted me to snag my trusty yellow fenders off of the old commuter and slap 'em on my Vaya.  Now I did have to get a bit creative with the disc brake but I think it will work.  I used the mid fork eyelet to attach the disc-side fender brace. I have to say I'm proud of myself...I'll let you know if it actually stays put and works.  I have a few skeptics here so we'll see how it goes. 

As far as winter riding I'll only say two words: patience and layers.  That's all.  Now get out there and do it!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Windblown Wednesday

I've been riding a bunch lately and the wind these days has been phenomonal.  On my way downtown the other day I went to signal a left turn off of Leavenworth and almost lost it as a huge gust of wind shoved me away from the direction I intended to turn.  Be careful out there commuters! Beware the wind!!

Last weekend I took a little mountain biking trip to North Carolina to visit a friend.  The trail system we rode was unreal!! Such a well planned, fun, fast, flowy trail.  I was literally laughing out loud more than once.

Here are a few pics, that of course don't do it justice.

I'm so fast it's blurry!  (yeah right)

coming off of this bridge into a beautifully banked turn was fun and fast!!