Tuesday, November 23, 2010

cold snap, day 2

My primary anxieties before trying out freezing-temp cycling were these: ice and cold.

It turns out that success in both areas is affected by one tactic: ride slower than normal. This was the second day in a row I've been almost late for work. Oops. I now plan to factor a bit of extra time for days like this. However -- and this is a selling point for me -- it still took less time than either walking or taking the bus.

Ice! No, this is not ice on the road. This is ice in a semi-frozen fountain outside my office building. Lovely, isn't it?

Unlike the wacky ice formations formed by semi-flowing water, on the road there was almost nothing. Occasional patches smaller than my palm and a thin trickle here or there, but nothing that couldn't be avoided by awareness and a respectable speed.

This is along Dunsmuir at noon (not my route, unfortunately) where the curiously straight stripes of white perhaps indicate...salting? Or some other ice-addressing chemical? I'd expect that bike tires wouldn't have the width to distribute the substance like car tires would but maybe it's not necessary. It's nice to see that the bike lanes have been thought of, too.

Cold (and that icicle-framed water does look cold, no?) has not been an issue if I wear winter attire and don't go fast enough to generate a breeze. The neckwarmer, toque, and mittens added today did the trick and it was quite comfortable. A walk at lunch included everything except the neckwarmer, which means that -- broken record! -- I basically didn't wear anything different than I would have worn if I had walked or taken the bus. (Are you annoyed yet?)

This was part of my outer attire today.
Wool jacket ... check.
Neckwarmer ... check.
Scarf ... check.
Snowman pin ... check.

Winter pride, y'all.


  1. Thats excellent! Its cold out there so I applaud you! I may try to ride tomorrow, but when it gets below zero I find it hard to conjour up the energy!

  2. It's mind over matter, isn't it? There's something about knowing it's cold that just makes you want to curl into a warm little ball and hiberate. (Or at least, it does to me.) I think it's just the repetition of riding in all kinds of circumstances that has convinced my subconcious to go against its first instinct.