The Chainlink

I'd love to hear about the no-doubt epic rides people took this week.  It was really rough out there, at least on my level.  I went out on a short jaunt on Wednesday and learned a few harsh lessons:  1)  Fasten your tricky hat chin strap while you're still inside and warm; 2)  AA batteries can actually be rendered powerless by extreme cold, to the point where a blinkie can't even blink; 3)  Make sure you know which way the wind will be blowing when you're coming back, especially when it's over 20 mph.; and 4)  Gasping for breath when it's -15 out is not fun.  But, I did survive and finally used those studded tires that have been sitting around for years.  They helped, but were definitely harder to keep moving.  And, if only someone could invent something that truly could prevent glasses from fogging!  It seems I've tried about everything, with no real luck.       

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I didn't even contemplate going out in that weather. :) Good on you!

i've heard that skiers swear by a product called Cat Crap for keeping their goggles clear.

Can vouch for that unfortunately named but effective product. I use it for skiing and bicycling (I bike with ski goggles below about 40 degrees to keep my eyes from watering). It's a waxy substance you wipe on the lenses and then wipe off. I use it on both the goggles and my eyeglasses.

I learned the hard way that those chemical hand warmers have a shelf life. It's less than five years.

Ok, so disclaimer... in D.C. but we did get a baby polar vortex and I rode through it because I just ride every day. Granted, it's never -55 below zero. I think they worst I've done this winter is -10 wind chill. I loved riding in the snow last Friday on the bricks (see photo below). Not slippery, just fun. I have a slight uphill to the station which I don't notice unless I ride the Brompton with its tiny wheels. I have only had one day I felt like crying but that's because my gear wasn't adequate (freezing hands hurt). It's close to 60 here today and the sun is out. 

No fenders? Dont you end up with a line of street juice up your back?

Nope. I don't. Funny,  I was just thinking about that yesterday. I really don't worry about it and my longer puffer doesn't have a drop of street gunk on it. I could just throw it in the wash if I need to.

Wouldn't call it epic, but I Divvy'd the 4ish miles from work both Tues/Wed nights. It was actually really relaxing as there weren't a lot of cars out. I've never had a whole lane to myself on LaSalle (and because of the speed I usually cut off to Wells or Clark) but I was able to take a leisurely ride from Randolph all the way to Clark/North on Tuesday.

Head: two hats, balaclava & buff, no eye wear

Hands: ski mittens with thick (25*) bike gloves underneath

Body: compression shirt, merino sweater, Uniqlo ultra-light down (highly recommend!) and North Face softshell

Legs: jeans with long underwear underneath

Feet: wool socks and waterproof boots

No issues with warmth and was sweating when I got home on Wednesday.

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