Tuesday, January 7

This just in: Weather

I guess there's not much of a way to avoid it, so let's go ahead and talk about it.

It's cold.

Relatively speaking.

I realize that it's much colder in other parts of the country, so my room to bitch is very narrow.  It will officially be my coldest commute to work since moving to Charlotte from Ohio in 1996, beating the previous record of 16° by about 7° or so.  Of course I had colder commutes in Youngstown, but that was seven lifetimes ago.

The other elephant-sized thing in the room is the pile of cold weather clothing I dug out last night so I wouldn't spend thirty minutes hunting it down this morning.

I feel like a woman getting ready for a big date... a closet full of nothing to wear.

I've never worn a puffy coat to work.  I'm considering it today.

I haven't worn pants or tights in years.  As a matter of fact, the only reason I own tights is about fifteen years ago I tried to order rain pants from Performance Bike.  They sent me shoe covers.  When I called them to report their error, they were outta rain pants.

"How about a pair of PearlIzumi Amphib tights?"

"Are they like rain pants?"


"Well, okay then."

So I own a pair of tights.  They've seen some use, but generally speaking, if it's ever been cold enough to ride with them (IMHO), it's been colder than my glove/sock/shoe collection will allow me to ride.  Road rides below 40° are stupid (actually all road rides are stupid), mountain bike rides below 25° just don't happen often enough to invest in proper clothing.
I can only remember a few specific times being out in the cold when I was living in Ohio that were stupider than today, aside from all those days as a typical kid when you put on a snowmobile suit and stayed out until the fingers on your knit gloves folded over and froze like tiny feet shapes.

My Oldsmobile Delta 88 broke down one night on the way home from work.  On the news, they were saying -50° (with the wind chill), and the hour I spent in the car before it stranded me was not all that great either, as my heater core was clogged.  No heat, driving with a blanket wrapped around me.  After pushing the car outta the road, no small feat for a man four apples tall, I ran home.  By the time I got there, I had frostbite on my thumb and a couple fingers.  That was the night I learned that you don't stick frostbitten digits under warm water.  Doh.

A mountain bike ride in the snow and single digit temps with my old friend Scott Kuhn... because.  It ended up being way more than pointless.  My SPDs were clogged with ice and snow.  The elastomers in his Onza pedals were rock hard, rendering them useless.  It ended up being mostly two idiots walking around with bikes in the woods.  We did it just because, and very little fun was had.

The other time?  Probably some time back in the late 80s.  Hanging with Mike Rozman.  Always dangerous.  The weathermen told everyone to stay inside that night.  High winds, extreme cold...

Mike had an idea.

"Let's walk to Doug's house."

It was less than seven miles.  It was late.  We had no adult supervision.  We went.

It was a long, stupid walk.  When we got there, we banged on Doug's window.  He was pissed.  Something about his dad wouldn't be thrilled about us showing up at 1:00AM.  We were hungry.  Doug gave us two dry packets of instant oatmeal.  No safe harbor in the storm.  Back out into the cold for us.

On the way home, we saw a bear shuffle across the road, lit up by the moon.  Pretty cool... and a bit scary.

I doubt I'll see a bear today.


Montana said...

Tights? Enjoy your penis frostbite. Definitely bubblegoose weather

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's way too cold for NC. We get a couple weeks every year of it up here in WA state, but we're 1000 miles north!

Camelbak w/ hot chocolate?...

Clicky-pedal moonboots?

staz said...

looks like your training intake fluids!

SurlyRob said...

Negative 9 on the way home this morning. It was better than the ride in though. That was 7 with 30mph winds. 9 degrees today was toasty.

Anonymous said...

Eggbeaters wouldn't have clogged up with snow and ice.