Friday, November 21, 2008

How Many Layers

Riding your bike in November in northern New England can be a bit of an exercise in how much you can wear and how many lights can you put on your bike. The reason being rather simple, it's dark by 4:10pm and the air temps are in the 20's with wind chill taking things down into the single digits.

But with it not quite ski season yet (Shawnee Peak is slated to open in mid December)and knowing the holidays (read wayyyyyy to much food and beer) right around the corner it's important to try and stay moving and try to keep the belt creep from going much beyond one notch.

This all brings me to last night. I thought I had another rider to go with me, but he bailed out about a half hour before we were to head out so it was me and the iPod. As I was getting ready I began to find it humorous how much crap went into a hour or so ride. Here is what I was wearing: long sleep t-neck base from Craft, my winter full zip jersey from Bikeman, a second heavy full zip "jersey" from Craft (more like a 200 weight fleece), a wind/rain shell from Sugoi, thermal knickers from Pearl, thermal wind front tights from Craft, heavy wool socks, heavy shoes, Pearl AmFib covers, fleece balaclava, Smartwool spring weight ski gloves, helmet (with light) and clear glasses. Then on the bike:2 knog flashers, one big flasher, a bar light set on flash mode, and the L&M Arc on the head. All this crap to go for a ride. It takes me about 15 minutes to get it all on and situated and another 10 to take it all off- for a ride that last night went for 70 minutes. The comical part- I have to trainers that I could have set up in the room and just donned shorts and shoes and been good to go!

Of course that would defeat the purpose. There is something very satisfying about riding in cold, dark, even wet conditions. It you've got the right snivel gear you can really be comfortable, and for what ever reason you feel tough (and in my case it makes up for my obvious lack of fitness!).

TWAF Holiday Gravel Grinder Part Deux Update

Here are the excuses or comments thus far:

A1: "Two weeks to get in shape, two weeks to get in shape, two weeks to get in shape..............shit"

JJ: "at least there are no food gorging type holidays before then"

Someone who claims to be my mother: "Very funny! Should I warn everyone that after many many many many
many ...... years of experience following the author's father that a time frame is an absolute JOKE as are any attempts at saying where you will go, end up or otherwise travel?! I hope the snow isn't too bad! I might be tempted to join you if I knew there were other 60 year old women in the crowd~ M"

Howie: "Oh, sure…..schedule it on the day of the Atomic Sprints…..nice. Now I’ll have to make up some excuse as to why I’m not at the Sprints…."

Fletcher: "This is awesome--here's the rub; it falls on the big SAT test date, so I won't be able to make it... Great invite, though!"

My boss: "Hi Captain of TWAF and Minister of Propaganda,

I am in, but I am hoping that I can't go. If my beloved UNH Wildcats win 2 more games (Sat vs Maine and 2 days after Thanksgiving in the NCAA Playoffs), I hope to be on a road trip to watch them.

Also, I need to be at Gordon College by 7pm that evening to listen to an angel (I mean my son!) sing. Maybe we can just ride back roads all the way down to Cape Ann?

By the way, don't you know that it is ski season, it's cold, I haven't been on my bike since July, and What are you thinking, anyway?

The Chief Head Knocker"

JJ again: "ran the TWAF GG part deux by the boss, was informed that D3 and I will be in Boston the night before at Celtics game returning very late/early. Also on the 6th, I have to attend a parade that D3 is in for school that I was informed would not be wise to miss. I'm old, lazy and out of shape. The moon is in the wrong phase. My biorhythms will be off that day. I might have gout or some other aliment by then. I might not come back from Jamaica. The ride won't be challenging enough.
How's that? Trying to cover myself with ample excuses."

And we also have one t-shirt going out to Brian Roche, "I'll bite...gotta tune up my MTB trannie though..."

So there you have it. I'll keep you updated as we get closer.

later and ride save,



bluecolnago said...

if you end up riding alone, don't forget your cell phone....

it's all good!

weak and feeble said...

DEA lives in the bumsticks of Maine, they probably haven't heard of cell phones let alone getting reception.