Geez, I've been having major blog-neglect guilt. Maybe it is because I'm still playing catch up from my time in California. Sigh. Beautiful, sunny, warm, glorious, multi-modal transportable California.
But alas, we're in the depths of winter and negative 26 degree wind chill advisories. Home sweet home. After I unpacked, washed, and buried in my closet my summer riding kits, I pulled back out my fleece balaclava, goggles, thermal tights, wool jerseys, and lobster claws (as well as liner gloves). Winter riding is fun. Especially when you can go to balmy climates and beat boys up hill climbs because you've never put away your bike for the 'season'. I met some cool folks out at SBCU (Specialized Bicycle & Components University) and definitely had my ego stroked as I was (per the usual) the only girl from a bike shop out there riding with a bunch of testosterone driven gear heads. Fun times, absolutely.
So yeah, back to Omaha. I have been riding a bunch since I got back. Yes I rode yesterday, which according to my mother is the coldest day we've encountered this winter. I believe the low was negative 8 before you factored in the wind chill, which let me assure you, was indeed a factor. I rode to my monthly Omaha Bikes meeting and then back to my place before pedaling down to the shop for a meeting with our Salsa Cycles reps who were cruising through town. It was absolutely cold, yes, but the only thing that was actually uncomfortable (until numbness set in, that is) was my finger tips. I had a pair of fleece liners under my lobsters but still had no feeling by the time I reached the shop.
On my ride down to the shop yesterday I was contemplating the safety (or lack thereof) of my front fender. I drove my bike inside my car to the shop several days ago install a rear studded tire after nearly wiping out in front of a car the Saturday before I left for CA as I slipped my way up Farnam St. during that night's heavy snow storm. Sooo, my roof rack's skewer was frozen so I removed the front wheel to shove the bike in the back of my wagon and shoot the luck, broke my fender. I kinda rigged it with zip ties and a bit of electrical tape (Munson, if the fender offer still stands, I'm all in this time!!) and it seemed to be holding. Then yesterday, with temps sinking far enough to make the e-tape brittle, I was destined for equipment failure. I was bombing down Leavenworth when I noticed a metal on metal tinking noise and looked down to see the metal strut of the fender hitting my spokes. Yikes. Envisioning an endo in the works, I quickly pulled over to see if I could make any modification that would allow me to pedal safely the remainder of my commute. It was at this point that I noticed the cold had really killed any elasticity of the tape and the zip ties were also cracked. BRRRRR! I did realize that if I could just kind of push the two parts together it would last til I could re-wrap with tape and ties. Thankfully it worked. Sorta. I did have to stop 2 more times on the way there to readjust my set up. It felt good, for mulitple reasons, to finally roll up to the shop.
I also rode today to the Transportation Master Plan Stakeholder Committee Meeting and am glad I did. Only 2 others (Scott Redd being one of them) braved the temps this evening and rode down. Good for you guys.
Who else is riding? And how is it going? I think this weekend is supposed to be awesome weather-wise. There will be a 10am Ladies' Ride leaving Greenstreet Cycles this Saturday. And then on Sunday, I got talked into racing in Panama, NE in an adventure race put together by Angry Cow Adventures. Wish me luck!! I'm sure I'll have a fun story or two from this weekend.
Pics from random rides and ski adventures will follow shortly! Sorry it's been so long!!