Monday, December 22, 2008

I Win!

I'm Not That Competitive, Really
Normally when I arrive at work downtown, Phil's green Schwinn is already there. My bike was the only one on the racks.

"I win!" I thought to myself, jokingly.

I talked to one of Phil's coworkers, and he said that Phil was off today. Bummer. Although.... he lives downtown and only cycles a few blocks, and I hear that he can do it using only one pedal. :)

Good Golly, Goggles Go Great!

My home thermometer said -8°F this morning, a new low temperature for me. The new goggles worked, for the most part. I got them large enough to go over my eyeglasses. About one mile into my trip, my eyeglasses began fogging up. Bummer. I guess my eyes sweat. I had to stop and stow the glasses in my bag, riding the rest of the way half-blind. I wonder if there's any anti-fog treatment made for eyeglasses.

Some of the snow packed streets were worse today that than last week. Ruts were forming in some places, and some of the snow pack had turned to ice. The studs still rock, though. It'd be nice if the city took a plow to the right hand edge of Leavenworth.

9 comments:

Scott Redd said...

Oh shucks. I jumped the gun on that post. I just noticed that Brady's sleek Nishiki commuter is on the rack.

Nice job, Brady.

brady said...

Thanks, Scott. Sorry to have blocked your win. (FAIL!)

But nice job to you too. In truth, I probably wouldn't have ridden today had I not first read your blog last night for inspiration. That and looking at the calendar for this shortened week - with snow looming, -8°F may be the best day to commute this week!

The Nishiki did fine. I was surprised how much traction I got in packed power on 27 1/4 slicks mounted to that railcar wheelset. I imagine that it also helped having the panniers over the back wheel for extra weight. Perhaps I'll bungee a $3 sandbag back there too.

How many layers did you bundle up in this time?

For the record: beneath helmet, a skull cap and PI balaclava, ski goggles, craft thermal top, long sleeve tech shirt, woolie, full shell wind breaker, glove liners and PI Lobsters, Craft thermal leggings, amfib bibs, one pair of smart wool socks, mountain shoes and amfib booties.

I only suffered in the toes. I was relieved that the commute was 25 minutes.

munsoned said...

Yes, great job Scott. I'm quite impressed. You have been commuting more than anyone else I know. Keep it up and hopefully more people will join us.

Scott Redd said...

Hi Brady... Munson. Thanks for the encouragement.

I did the nine layers again. For people who care about the details, here's my list:

TOP
long sleeve baselayer
short sleeve tech
short sleeve tech
long sleeve baselayer
short sleeve tech
long sleeve ski shirt
long sleeve zip up cycling jersey
long sleeve fleece sweatshirt
PI Vagabong shell

BOTTOM
PI AmFIB tights
baselayer tights
workout pants

FEET
SmartWool socks
Hot Hands on the toes
wool blend hiking socks
sneakers

HANDS
polypro glove liners
Hot Hands in the liner pocket
Louis Garneau lobster gloves

HEAD
fleece balaclava, over the face
polypro balaclava on the head, pulled over ears
taped up helmet
goggles

I am sure I could have done without the fleece, or perhaps traded it for a few shirts. The fleece gets moist, since it doesn't wick like the tech shirts do. I just get paranoid about getting cold halfway there, while in reality, I get rather warm by the halfway point.

Tomorrow's 6AM forecast looks like a comfortable 9 degrees... much warmer than -8. (That must look absolutely bonkers to someone not from the colder climes!) The wind looks pretty fierce at 16 MPH, but from the South will help push me into downtown. The afternoon, at 25 degrees, looks even better.

Biker Bob said...

I'm impressed that you guys have been riding in the cold. I need to get my butt in gear and get back out there or it's going to be April before I ride again.

My current record is 0ºF with a pretty rough wind chill also.

My commute is about 1.25 hours in the winter, so I really have a hard time with toes. Anything under 10ºF requires toe warmers. That gets expensive if I have to use a set each way.

Keep up the good work.

brady said...

Next time, try 8 layers, then 7, etc...I've found that four is the most I've needed, and probably could have gotten by with three (heavy thermal, woolie and shell).

It seems as though the top of the goggles are butting against your helmet. It makes for a great Master Chief look, but at the expense of restricting ventilation. Is that a removable visor on your helmet? Have you considered any other way to increase air flow along the top vents?

RD said...

Scott since you take similar route as I do. have you though about hitting up vinton to 16th street and then turn north towards downtown. no one ever uses 16th street vinton on the other hand might be diffrent story

Scott Redd said...

Hey Bob:

If you take your chemical heat packs and put them in a Ziploc baggie, then suck out the air, it will suspend the chemical reaction. Then take them back out about 45 minutes before you leave for the afternoon. Then you only need a set for each day, not for each way.

Hi RD:

When I first started riding downtown, I used Vinton to 24th, then 24th into downtown.

I didn't like the hill climb up Vintown toward 32nd, and then the hill climb from 32nd over the Interstate. Then I didn't like the hill climb on 24th from Woolworth to Leavenworth. I'm seeing a pattern here. :)

I did ride out of downtown once on 16th when I learned that 16th from downtown to Vinton was going to get a bike lane. It's a pretty good road, and the grades are not so bad.

I don't think I'd want to do Vinton now in the snow, since it's so curvy it would make it difficult for people to get around me.

My current route takes me about three miles before hitting Leavenworth. I've gone some mornings with almost no overtakes until hitting Leavenworth. It's kind of eerie when that happens.

Biker Bob said...

Good idea on the heat packs. I was wondering if something like that would work.