....to ride your bike in the freezing cold (?!)
Winter is here. I woke up this morning to a dusting of snow. I was already planning to go for a bike ride outside and I don't enjoy changing plans. Even though the warm couch on a Sunday was calling my name. Typically, I'm not a winter rider. My favourite days on the bike are the hottest days of the year. Riding in the cold weather just sounds miserable to me.
Road bikes are meant to go fast. The faster you go the windier it is. The windier it is the colder it is. I just don't understand how one can possibly stay warm! I was coming down the escarpment and my top speed was 56.3km/h. At -1C, I wonder what the wind chill factor is? Tears were streaming down my face by the time I got to the bottom of the hill.
I learned a few things on my ride though. Water bottles in cages? gross. I went to take a drink and it was like a gritty salt lick. Much like the road. Because there was some melted snow, the road salt and spray were covering me and my water bottles. Ergo, a nice sip of water turned into something totally gross.
I learned that I can't really stop for anything. I had to stop to check my BG half way through and the few seconds I had my hands exposed was enough to rid them of all their precious warmth. I mean, I'm glad I checked because I was down to 5.2mmol/l (94mg/dl) and needed to suck back a gel but I wish I hadn't had to stop. It took a solid 15 minutes of hard riding before I could start feeling my fingers again. I also used a hand warmer in my meter case just like the days of last winter.
I learned it takes me a long time to get dressed! I had a pair of long pants. On top of that my cycling shorts, then my leg warmers. A long sleeve top, a riding jersey, arm warmers and then my jacket. A neck gaiter, A cap for under my helmet and a pair of gloves under mitts. Then socks, shoes and booties. I fought with my pump and my bib shorts as well as my shuffle and ear buds. I felt like a kid getting ready to go and play in the snow only to have to pee once I was dressed. Except I didn't have to go pee. I was just really hot. But y'know what? My legs and core were warm the whole time. It was just my hands, feet and face that were unhappy.
I got the wheezy-achy-cold-lung post ride cough for a couple hours. Didn't enjoy that.
It was sort of fun, the cold made me want to work harder to stay warm and I felt like I really pushed myself. Cold weather running is certainly easier and there's no gritty dirty bike to clean.
Also... do you think it's possible to get dehydrated via the nose? holy snot buckets.
I don't love it, the cold weather rides. I'll deal with it though, because my living room is a brain sucker. I loved getting out on the road. I always feel so much stronger outside seeing things fly by. It really gave me a bit more motivation. I don't care what kind of indoor trainer you have, nothing will mimic the road quite like the real thing.