Although I’ve been winter cycling since 2004, the winter of 2014 taught me some new lessons. Screw fashion and the discerning cyclist (at least when it’s below -15C)
- Exposed skin sucks, especially below -15C
- My general purpose blundstones are not warm enough even with 2 pairs of socks.
- When it gets cold my body seems to cut off circulation much faster these days, I’m getting older.
- Need a better winter bike cleaning routine (setup, tools, approach), unless you want to buy a new chain, freewheel and derailleur every winter.
- Facial hair, if you can grow it, rocks for winter cycling! Don’t shave it off after Movember.
- Who cares what you look like if you have confidence you’ll arrive home with all your digits. #screwfashion
Winter 2015 to do list:
- Purchase ski googles, cycling glasses don’t cut the extreme cold
- Purchase a better balaclava, my current one works great for one or two days, but is irritating to use long term.
- Purchase warm winter boots, none of this hiking shoes or general purpose boots made in Australia crap. (This also goes for general winter walking, those blundstones made winter school drop-offs painful).
The Ride January 7th
January 7th was possibly the coldest bicycle ride I’ve ever done. The temperature wasn’t too bad at -20C but the 70km/hr wind was crazy, it made it feel like -41C. It was unbelievably cold, especially along King Street downtown Kitchener where the wind just roared between the buildings. I had a number of errands to do, probably cycled 15km in total that day. I felt like I was just trying to get between destinations as quick as possible so my feet could thaw.
Started out without the balaclava (mistake for sure), but facial hair helps a lot, thank you Movember.
The Water Loop trail that has yet to be paved is not winter maintained, my bike wasn’t going to make these trails.