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February 17, 2006

Wind Chill Advisory

Warning Issue Date: 857 AM CST FRI FEB 17 2006
Warning Expiration: 500 PM CSTFRI FEB 17 2006
...Wind chill advisory remains in effect until 5 pm cst this afternoon...
A wind chill advisory remains in effect until 5 pm cst this afternoon.
Northwest winds of 15 to 25 mph will combine with arctic air to create wind chill readings of minus 30 to minus 45 today.
A wind chill advisory means that cold air and strong winds will combine to generate very low wind chills. Weather conditions today will result in frost bite and could lead to hypothermia if precautions are not taken.
“IF PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN? is the key phrase. With winter biking this sums up the whole experience. This morning riding into work I did not suffer. I did not get frostbite or hypothermia. The head-wind was very strong and slowed me WAY down, and I felt a slight air leakage around my wrists and two fingers started getting cold, but I curled them in to warm them up. The temp this morning was -9F (-36F windchill.) So, I think this qualifies as the coldest day I’ve ridden this year.

Clothing: Long underwear, normal pants, wool socks, insulated work boots, normal work buttoned work shirt, polar fleece jacket, winter jacket, US Military issued “Mask, Extreme Cold Weather? stocking cap, helmet gloves. (I lost one of my choppers, which are clearly superior to gloves in my experience). And last item which I’ve only used a couple times to test out…which was incredibly useful this morning…
Downhill ski goggles over my glasses and ski mask. Thank you Hugh! You saved me this morning! I had no exposed skin except for my lips and the very underside of my nose. If I was really worried about that, I could have used petroleum jelly or something on the exposed skin, which does work. I did that when it was minus 18 degrees last year.

So for me experience talks louder than any words on the subject. My experience tells me I can do this whenever I want! It doesn’t mean I have to or that I will choose to, but I am no longer under the illusion that it’s crazy or impossible. I have no reason to say it’s not possible, because I’ve already done for almost two winters now. I can because I did, if that makes sense.

On a related note, this is a good example of ‘faith.’ I have faith because I have experienced a relationship with God. I no longer have to ‘prove’ God exists because I’ve experienced the Love of God. Faith is a knowing. If we are low on faith we need to experience God. This is the way winter biking works, or any other activity. If I want to know what it’s like to be a musician, I have to practice music. On my trumpet I have faith that when I press a certain key, use my lips in a specific way, I get a specific note, so when I’m reading the sheet music I don’t even think about the mechanics of pressing the key or the position of my lips. It is an experienced-based faith. There is the line that says, ‘blessed are those who have faith without seeing.’ But I think about it this way: God is Alive, God is Life, God is Love, and I am experiencing that whether I believe it or not. My faith is based in this experience, because I already am experiencing and have a relationship with God. There is no gap in faith or lack of life in me.
As I ride my bike in the winter, at temperatures I previously would have thought un-doable, I think, wow, life is really strange and great! No words can even explain or do the experience of it justice. I just had to get out there and do it. And when people start talking to me about how it’s too cold to bike now, or that I shouldn’t ride because it’s too cold, I just nod and smile inside and know it’s ok for me.

For your viewing pleasure, here are some ice-biking pictures taken last weekend by Karl. I'm the one with the Orange Mongoose mountain bike with the number 17 on it:


Posted by carl1236 at February 17, 2006 10:05 AM | Winter-Biking