January 14, 2005
Bike Ninja II
I think today was the coldest day of the year so far. But the days are getting longer and there are only about 60 days left of Winter. I was excited because as I was riding my bike home today, at 5:30pm there was still a little light left.
Today when I got into work, one of the co-authorís of our company newsletter took my picture and wrote an article about my winter bike commuting. I thought the picture turned out well and wanted to share it with you. Due to the extreme cold weather, I am dressed like this. Which looks very similar to Jimís picture.
Today riding my bike to work I actually got too hot because I over-dressed for the conditions. The key to riding a bike in subzero weather is having 'no exposed skin.' To stay warm I put on layers:
* Long underwear, pants, windbreaker overpants. Synthetic socks, thick wool socks over that, then waterproof workboots.
* Thin Nylon gloves inside of thick winter gloves with thinsulate lining.
* Light nylon ski mask with a military Extreme Cold Weather Mask over
that. To protect the exposed skin around the eyes and lips I used a thin coat of Vaseline.
* On my upper body I had on a normal work shirt, a sweater and winter Jacket. The sweater was overkill because with the work of riding a bike, the core tends to warm up quickly. Going home I have to work much harder because it's almost all uphill. I had to take off the sweater for the ride home. With the right preparation and attitude the bike riding part is no different than riding on a summer day. Well, almost no different. I feel a little constricted in all those layers. But even sub-zero weather is manageable.
Man, you must get pretty hot, even when it's really cold. I'm also a fan of layering, but I have trouble wearing anything that doesn't let a little breeze pass through. When it's cold, I wear a heavy wool sweater with a sweatshirt over that. That said, I did wimp out yeterday and take the train, but that was more because my face was getting cold than anything. I think a pair of ski goggles would be a nice addition to my winter biking ensemble. Truth be told, however, these really cold days are in the minority. I'm starting to find anything above zero to be completely tolerable.
Posted by: Jim at January 15, 2005 10:36 AM
Yeah, I will have to dress lighter when it's warmer. this photo is on the coldest day so far and I was plenty warm. Now I have no valid excuses that would prevent me from riding my bike. I love it.
Now I'm starting to think about the wet season. I want to try keeping my feet dry this year.
Posted by: John at January 15, 2005 11:16 PM
Fenders (in the front to keep your feet dry) are all you need on most days, assuming they're long enough. Most fenders on the market are far too short, but an old plastic jug and some zip-ties can probably alleviate any shortcomings.
Posted by: Jim at January 16, 2005 10:15 AM