Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Riding in everything but the rain

Bundled up for 31 degrees!
It seems I have biked in everything BUT the rain so far this November. Yesterday I biked home in the hail - big hail. It didn't last for long though. This morning I biked to school in below freezing temps. But I am not complaining! I will take a crisp clear day over a Seattle downpour anytime.

It has been a pain to dress for the cold though because I have some big hills on my ride and I get HOT. On my ride to school I have a short, steep downhill, and long gradual uphill followed by a long gradual downhill. I deal with this by starting off bundled up - there is nothing like pedaling into cold air first thing in the morning! About half way up my long gradual uphill I stop to take off a layer. This tends to be a pain because with my lobster mittens and having to open one of my paniers to stuff my layer away it takes quite a few minutes. But I have generally found it to be worth my time to stop. I prefer not to be drenched in sweat when I get to school. At other points in the past I haven't cared so much, but right now I'm a TA and I prefer not to smell too bad.

Dressing for my ride home is much more of a hastle. I start out with a long gradual uphill, so I get pretty warm almost immediately. But then I have a LONG gradual downhill on a very quiet street that almost never has traffic. And I like to go fast on it. The problem is that I freeze my butt off on this section. I haven't really figured out a good solution to this problem yet. If I'm too bundled up in the beginning, I get sweaty and then my long downhill is even colder. Maybe I should stop before the long downhill and put ON an extra layer. Somehow I don't see myself wanting to stop on my way home though. I'd probably rather just keep pedaling. I just remind myself that it might be chilly, but this is not Fairbanks!

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